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Old 02-12-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
casaturn
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Default L300 V6 connecting rod bearing

Funny story... my wife (gotta love her) developed an oil leak after running over a street sign in her 2001 L-300. When the oil got low and the oil pressure light (or as she put it - the "needs an oil change light") came on, she went ahead and continued to drive it the rest of the way home.

Now it has a bad bottom end rattle, with the characteristic back-rattle of a rod bearing - carefully listening to it with a stethoscope reveals that it is #2.

The car is in generally very good condition, although it has about 180k on it. I pulled the valve cover, lifters and camshaft from the front head to inspect and everything up top is OK. So here are the questions:

1) Do I fix (hopefully), replace engine (used engine seems to be about $1600), or junk it?

2) If fix, can I pull the crankshaft without pulling the engine, and without pulling the heads? I'm betting the crank needs turned, but I dont really want to pull the engine.

3) Is there any way to get away without pulling the crank? My guess is "no", but it's worth asking.

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Old 02-13-2011, 12:31 AM   #2
bill buttermore
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: L300 V6 connecting rod bearing

You may be able to change the bad connecting rod bearing by dropping the pan with the engine still in the car. The chances of that repair lasting, though, are very small indeed. Almost certainly, the crank journal is damaged and there are probably a lot of sparkly metal particles that have been distributed throughout the oiling system. I know, you think they would be stopped by the filter, but most of the spun bearings I have done, especially when the car was driven that way, result in contaminated oil passages. With a damaged journal, the new bearing will get chewed up in short order, leaving you where you started, but having spent a good bit of time you could have used to do it right.

Fixing it yourself the right way will not be cheap. That is, buy a crank kit, seals and gaskets, pull the engine, disassemble it, remove any metal contamination (sometimes this involves disassembling, cleaning and reassembling the lifters), check the rods (at least the one with the spun bearing), clean everything up, replace any really worn parts, and put it back together. Takes a lot of skill and a lot of time. Crank kits are usually around $200 - seals and gaskets usually $200-300. And unless it was done recently, you would want to replace the timing belt, pulleys and water pump - about another $200. It is pretty easy to drop $1000 in parts and cleaning at your local shop, not counting days and days of effort. But, if you are careful and thorough, you end up with a repair that will be good for many many miles.

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Old 02-13-2011, 07:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: L300 V6 connecting rod bearing

Thanks Bill. That's not what I wanted to hear of course, but pretty much what I expected. I guess there is not really a way then to pull the crankshaft (for machining) then without pulling the engine first. You also mentioned checking the rod(s) - do you mean for other damage (bent, etc) - or just at the bearing interface (ie, spun)?

The worst part of all this is that I did just recently install a new front head gasket, valve seals, all intake and valve cover gaskets, water pump, timing belt and serpentine belt. Ugh!

In lieu of better options, I guess my plan then is to pull the pan and check bearings and crank journals - and make my decision from there. As much as I hate to, I'll probably end up replacing the whole engine, or just selling it as is.

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Old 02-13-2011, 11:28 PM   #4
bill buttermore
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Default Re: L300 V6 connecting rod bearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by casaturn View Post
Thanks Bill. That's not what I wanted to hear of course, but pretty much what I expected. I guess there is not really a way then to pull the crankshaft (for machining) then without pulling the engine first. You also mentioned checking the rod(s) - do you mean for other damage (bent, etc) - or just at the bearing interface (ie, spun)?

The worst part of all this is that I did just recently install a new front head gasket, valve seals, all intake and valve cover gaskets, water pump, timing belt and serpentine belt. Ugh!

In lieu of better options, I guess my plan then is to pull the pan and check bearings and crank journals - and make my decision from there. As much as I hate to, I'll probably end up replacing the whole engine, or just selling it as is.

If you could get the crank out without pulling the engine, I can't imagine how you would torque the flex-plate to crank bolts when you re-installed it. And you would surely expend much more work and effort, with a lower chance of ultimate success than pulling the engine and putting it on a stand. You get spoiled fast working on engines on a stand where you can spin them to any angle you want, at a comfortable working height, able to see every little detail, and able to use the most comfortable tools for the fasteners.

Yes, you would want to check the connecting rod with the bad bearing for damage and for out of round especially on the big end. Banging around can cause them to get out of shape.

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