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Old 06-20-2015, 10:09 AM   #361
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Thanks. "Feel good" does not adequately express my joy - 9 months in a PT Cruiser is worse than torture.

Gonna do my first autocross in almost 2 years on Sunday. I'm rusty as hell, but it should be fun.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:46 PM   #362
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Well...good news / bad news;

Good News:
Took the car to a local autocross event. Was signed up in the "Novice" group 'cause the car is new, and I haven't competed in over 2 years - better to be safe than sorry. The car ran impeccably, so much so that my instructor had nothing but good things to say about it ("forgiving handling", "amazing power", "like a big go-kart", "nothing but smiles"). My driving was less than stellar - I did cut 7 seconds off of my first run (from 61 sec, to 54 on a course where the best of the best were running 49 sec in "stock" classes). I was happy.

Bad News;
It was 90+ degrees and I felt like a wet noodle by the end of the day. What was worse though was that - on the way home - I was getting a rattling sound from the engine at moderate to heavy loads. There was no smoke, and no loss of power but I was terrified that we (the wife and I) would be on the side of the road, 50 miles from home. I kept the speeds low(ish) and the throttle light and we made it home without further drama (i.e. no loud BANGS, or billows of smoke). I stopped a few times to check the oil level, and it was steady - although I did put in a splash, just to be safe. The only thing that seemed out of sort was the rattle, and slightly higher oil temps (up from about 220, to around 250* during hiway cruising at 65).

This evening I'll open the valve cover and look for anything obvious (a broken spark plug insulator, an errant bolt bouncing around, a loose head nut). I'm going to trailer the car to the garage, where I do all my work, tomorrow and pull the engine to see what went wrong. I'm praying for something easy to fix, non-fatal and sub $100 to repair/replace.

Fingers are suitably crossed...
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:33 AM   #363
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Everything in the top end was copacetic. As soon as I opened up the bottom end, I knew what the problem was (the small pile of metal shavings in the filter screen sort of gave it away) - the big-end bearing on #1 was toast. There was also a nice coating of "metal paste" coming from the oil holes in the crank on #3 & #4. The bearing surfaces on all of the crank journals pass the "fingernail test", but they look grooved visually. I'm going to mic them tonight and see what the deal is - maybe they can be "rescued". Otherwise, I'm in the market for a new crankshaft (ouch).

PS - I watched the oil levels like a hawk, I installed a Bosch sensor (to get "real" linear oil pressure readings), I even have a separate sensor hooked to an idiot light for redundancy, and I have an oil temperature gauge - with the sender in the oil pan - to monitor that). With all of that I STILL spun a bearing!

During disassembly, I also noticed that the exhaust cam had "advanced" itself (remember, I managed to push the locating pin for the cam gear into the cam during the previous assembly - I tightened the **** out of that cam gear once I discovered my mistake, but I guess the forces on the gear can easily overcome the tightening torque...shear forces wins over compression every time). So I'm shopping for a new exhaust cam as well...any offers?!

In the mean-time this gives me some downtime to contemplate painting the car. My wife isn't very high on the green/blue/silver/black motif.
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:49 PM   #364
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NO NO NO NO NO



Not another engine gone. I'm glad you're taking this in a positive light, but I'm really sorry to hear this happened.
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:55 PM   #365
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Oh man, that's no bueno. :(

What do you believe might be the root cause for failure on #1? Contamination? Improper assembly? Man, that really really sucks.

But hey, if the engine is out it gives you a chance to repaint the engine compartment to match? Sorry, trying to find a positive.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:04 PM   #366
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That sucks. I have a few minutes on my built motor. I won't know how well I built it until I get a chance to push it some more after I get my MS issues looked at.

Hopefully the crank is good.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:59 AM   #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMakinson View Post
NO NO NO NO NO



Not another engine gone. I'm glad you're taking this in a positive light, but I'm really sorry to hear this happened.
My feelings exactly. But I've decided to philosophical about it - I took it to the autocross to find out where any weak links were...I found it. Now's the time to correct that and try again.

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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Oh man, that's no bueno. :(

What do you believe might be the root cause for failure on #1? Contamination? Improper assembly? Man, that really really sucks.

But hey, if the engine is out it gives you a chance to repaint the engine compartment to match? Sorry, trying to find a positive.
Root cause? Most likely oil contamination (or a poor choice of oil - I used Royal Purple 5W-30 'cause I got a case of it for free, I think I'll go back to Rotella T6). This one I could possibly tag on not warming up the engine before putting it into the hands of an over-zealous "instructor" who spun the car several times on-course and did a few burnouts trying to recover...maybe oil starvation? But the oil level was spot-on and the oil temps didn't exceed 220*, and the pressure gauge never dipped and idiot light never came on. All of this is speculation.

So now what?
First on the agenda is "more monitoring", as in installation of a VDO OPG connected to the sending unit. That'll give me a better "read" than the highly damped OEM gauge can give.

I'm thinking of using Clevite bearings - both previous bearing failures were using ACL "race" bearings. Failure #1 was my fault for running w/ low oil level. But this failure is questionable. I plastigaged all of the bearings before final assembly (not a perfect measurement, but the reading was within spec). The block, head, and oil pump were hot-tanked before use, and I used assembly lube on all bearing surfaces. I checked all bolt tightening torque settings throughout the engine. Of course that doesn't mean that I didn't goof somewhere.

I'm also wondering if higher pressure from the oil pump (it's a BE pump) would help things.

After all of that, I was expecting the Churbo to be the weak link. Guess I was wrong.

I'll try again...

Yes, paint is on my mind. I'm going on vacation next week, so I'm SOL regarding car-work. But, when I get back, it'll be "All hands on deck" to get this b**ch running again.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:39 AM   #368
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I was nervous enough about my home build that I put in an oil pressure and temperature gauge. Still like a impatient kid I started the car up even though the pressure gauge wasn't working. Once I properly grounded them I could see tons of pressure but I should have confirmed first.

I'm running a BE pump and no oil squirters.

I couldn't find the ACL races in time so my guy used Clevite AL.

I kept hearing that Rotella T6 is the best ( I have bikes and ATV's so they love it too and I have 3 jugs at home still - BTW they want over $40 CND for 5L of that oil up here vs. your $22 US) but lately I hear reports that T6 isn't as applicable for a passenger car and it's rpm's. I'm still on break in oil but will probably go to Castrol or Pennzoil once I get some more research done.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:57 PM   #369
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I just ordered the Clevite AL bearings, along with a VDO OPG. I'm paranoid (now) about oil, so I'm going back to T6 (anybody want a case of Royal Purple?). I'm going to get some washers for the BE pump - I'll run 1 shim and see what the OPG reads (when the motor is back together again). I don't expect to have to go more than 2 shims.

Next steps;
- hot tank everything that had oil touching it
- touch up the crank journals (nothing extreme, just make sure the surfaces are straight and smooth)
- measure EVERYTHING! - fix anything that's wrong
- test-fit new parts
- check, and re-check
- assemble
- break-in
- change oil
- ENJOY!

If I toast another bearing set I'll garage the car, save up a bunch of money and put together a "Big Baller" motor so I can blow it up for real. No more spun bearings, I'll go for "picture windows" in the crankcase!!
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:07 AM   #370
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Opinion solicitation:

Right now, I'm not running an oil cooler but I think that this has contributed to my recent bearing failure. Also, using "modern" oil with low ZDDP content may be a contributing factor.

Am I just grasping at straws to cover up poor assembly on my part (I don't think so, but that's always a possibility)?

If I'm going to pop an additional $400 (or more) for an oil cooler setup, I want to make sure I'm not just throwing good money after bad.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:12 AM   #371
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I did my oil cooler for ~200. If you can piece some pieces together it gets a little cheaper. I got a setrab cooler from racer parts wholesale. But call and ask for ones with the brackets because the circle track guys all cut them off.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:40 AM   #372
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I was just on RPW this morning looking at Setrabs and Mocals. I'm thinking that by the time I add a sandwich plate w/ thermostat and hoses and fittings the cost will get around 4 bills - that's about the cost of FM's or FAB9's kit.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:43 AM   #373
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~90 for 25 row cooler + ~100 for thermostat plate + ~70-80 for lines. I got a deal on lines but compared to the equivalent (25 row) its like 200 cheaper.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:51 AM   #374
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25-row Setrabs on RPW are going for $230+!

I was looking at the Tru-Cool oil coolers (24-row for $45-ish). Earl's narrow 16-row coolers are going for ~$60 on Summit. Something like that might be a fair alternative.

I'd love a Setrab, but my funds are limited.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:57 AM   #375
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230 used?
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:01 PM   #376
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New...didn't know they sold used...need to investigate
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:02 PM   #377
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Quote:
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New...didn't know they sold used...need to investigate
<br />
<br /><br />
<br />Call. They are really helpful. That's why I said make sure to get one with brackets.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:07 PM   #378
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I'll be calling this week. I'm in Detroit this week - could pass through Indy on the way home (to ATL) if it's worth the diversion!

Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:17 PM   #379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwyatt365 View Post
I was just on RPW this morning looking at Setrabs and Mocals. I'm thinking that by the time I add a sandwich plate w/ thermostat and hoses and fittings the cost will get around 4 bills - that's about the cost of FM's or FAB9's kit.
Or Trackspeed. I like the TSE one because it comes with the higher temp thermostat. Something to keep in mind anyway.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:19 PM   #380
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<p>That too. He will sell you the thermostat and fittings for a bit more but its worth it. Also I mis-spoke. It isn't racer parts wholesale where you get used ones. Its 2ndchanceraceparts.com. Call them.</p>
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