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Old 06-23-2009, 11:01 AM   #1
klpete
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Default Help with broken rod please!

Hello all-

My oldest son has a 2002 SC2. He recently heard a bad sound and had the sense to pull off the road and call AAA. We had it towed to our mechanic. He said that one of the piston rods was broken and that a new engine was needed. Way out of line with what we paid for the car. Does anyone have a source for a piston rod or piston/rod assembly? Would you recommend replacing all 4 or just the broken one? It had been burning about a qt. of oil every 2-3K miles prior to this. Maybe replace that piston and the rest of the rings?
My mechanic said that replacing the rings runs the risk of blowing out the valve seals from the increased compression. Any truth to this?

Is replacing the piston(s), rod, rings something a fairly good home mechanic can do in a weekend? Is there anything else you would recommend doing while I'm down there?

Thank you very much from a newbie on the forum,

Kirk
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
topcat
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Default Re: Help with broken rod please!

At the very least I would think that the block would have to come out to be inspected for damage. A used engine will probably be your cheapest option. Best of luck.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help with broken rod please!

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Originally Posted by topcat View Post
At the very least I would think that the block would have to come out to be inspected for damage. A used engine will probably be your cheapest option. Best of luck.

I agree. Plus whatever caused 1 rod to break will likely cause others to fail as well.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help with broken rod please!

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Originally Posted by klpete View Post
My mechanic said that replacing the rings runs the risk of blowing out the valve seals from the increased compression. Any truth to this?
I'm no expert, but...

If the valve seals were strong enough to withstand the compression from a brand new engine, why would they suddenly not be able to withstand the compression just because you replaced the rings, bringing the compression back up to like-new?
Cars would be blowing valve seals every time a new engine was started!

Junkyard engine is probably the fastest/cheapest way to go, if your son needs the car right away. Removing/replacing is remarkably easy on these cars... by far the easiest cars I've worked on (again, not a pro here)

He can then rebuild the other engine at his leisure, so he has a backup when needed
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help with broken rod please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by klpete View Post
Hello all-

He said that one of the piston rods was broken and that a new engine was needed. Way out of line with what we paid for the car. Does anyone have a source for a piston rod or piston/rod assembly? Would you recommend replacing all 4 or just the broken one? It had been burning about a qt. of oil every 2-3K miles prior to this. Maybe replace that piston and the rest of the rings?

Kirk
Connecting rods typically do not just break. Was the engine exceeding redline when it broke (e.g. racing, missed shift)? Was the engine low on oil?

Did the mechanic drop the oil pan to confirm the broken rod? If not, how did he verify the broken rod? If there's a hole in the side of the block the engine is an anchor (and not a very good one). As a start, the cylinder will require inspection to see if it was gouged by the broken rod. I'd be hesitant to replace just the broken parts in the engine and, as a minimum, I'd completely rebuild the short block assembly (bearings, rings, pistons; non-destructive inspection of remaining rods, crankshaft). If the engine has over 100k miles I'd consider rebuilding the head also. Except for an experienced individual this is not a weekend job.

Considering the cost of the engine inspection and rebuild, I agree with the other folks on this forun that a used engine is your best bet.

Steve
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help with broken rod please!

^ ^ ^ good points. Time for a second opinion? New mechanic?

Maybe we should start with what sounds your son heard, how the car felt/reacted, other symptoms. Have you looked at the engine at all yourself?

Were there any problems before this bad sound, any rattling, vibrating, knocking, etc.?
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help with broken rod please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by klpete View Post
Hello all-

My oldest son has a 2002 SC2. He recently heard a bad sound and had the sense to pull off the road and call AAA. We had it towed to our mechanic. He said that one of the piston rods was broken and that a new engine was needed. Way out of line with what we paid for the car. Does anyone have a source for a piston rod or piston/rod assembly? Would you recommend replacing all 4 or just the broken one? It had been burning about a qt. of oil every 2-3K miles prior to this. Maybe replace that piston and the rest of the rings?
My mechanic said that replacing the rings runs the risk of blowing out the valve seals from the increased compression. Any truth to this?

Is replacing the piston(s), rod, rings something a fairly good home mechanic can do in a weekend? Is there anything else you would recommend doing while I'm down there?

Thank you very much from a newbie on the forum,

Kirk
Remove plugs, put straws down the cylinders. Crank over the engine by hand via the crankshaft bolt on the passenger side. If the straws move up and down, your rod is not broken.

A broken rod also means that the walls of the combustion chamber can be damaged, which means it need to be rebored...again its $$$$

Oil level?? Sounds like it ran out of oil....

New (used) engine is best. rebuilding may save a little but take alot alot longer (if you do it yourself).

Either way more testing is needed or you need to post everything the mechanic did to know the rod is broken. the 3rd gen rods are the beefiest rods the s-series has....
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