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Old 01-04-2014, 10:16 PM   #1
Macgyver
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Default Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

My friends car overheated from a blocked heater core and cracked the head (coolant was in the oil, not the other way around) and Iím noticing there is quite a bit of carbon build up on the pistons. He doesnít have the money for me to remove the pistons and replace all of the bearings, etc. but Iím wondering what you guys would use to try and loosen a bit of that up.

Also, what are the chances the block warped from overheating? From my understanding, he drove it like that for about 20 minutes. Compression test showed 100-125 PSI on all cylinders before I tore it down, not enough to actually start the car after it cooled down.

If anybody has the head gasket torqueing procedures for a 3rd gen SOHC that would be much appreciated as well.







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Old 01-04-2014, 10:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

The block is probably ok. Just do the straight edge test to get a good idea. If it were mine I'd go crazy insuring straightness, but if he doesn't want to spend a lot of money on it, straight edge test it and call it a day.

I'd ignore the carbon unless you are hot tanking everything. How's the oil burning? A set of rings and a shop hone job shouldn't cost $100 more at this point, drill drain holes and oil burning should stop or slow drastically.

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Old 01-04-2014, 10:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

+1^^What he said.

Clean the head bolt holes with a fiber brush and blow out with compressed air. Clean the head and block mating surfaces with acetone. Set your new gasket on the block in the correct position so the oil port is not blocked. Carefully set the head on the gasket and do not scratch the head or block. If the bolts seem to be oily when you pull them out of the box wipe them off with a clean dry rag and don't leave any lint on them. Now screw all the NEW head bolts in by hand and torque them in order and stages to the 48ft-lb final value.

SOHC head torquing procedure

Initial dry bolt torque in sequence to 48ft-lb following the torquing pattern in stages to 20ft-lb, 30ft-lb, and final 48ft-lb. This establishes the proper clamp load on the gasket.

This is followed by removal in about 1/4 turn in sequence until loose.

Bolts washers, threads and bolt heads are oiled with clean engine oil and reinstalled finger tight.

Torqued in sequence to 22 ft-lb then 33ft-lb and then additional 90 degree turn.

The 90 degrees is important so do not guess at the 90 degrees. You can eyeball it and use a 1/2 drive breaker bar and make the 90 degree turn in a single smooth motion.

If this is not followed the new gasket will end up leaking.

Torquing sequence
intake side
8-4-1-5-9
7-3-2-6-10
exhaust side

Verify the continuous vent line from the head to the reservoir is clear and not blocked in the 1/4" metal line. If this is blocked you overheat.

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Old 01-04-2014, 10:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyver View Post
My friends car overheated from a blocked heater core and cracked the head (coolant was in the oil, not the other way around) and Iím noticing there is quite a bit of carbon build up on the pistons. He doesnít have the money for me to remove the pistons and replace all of the bearings, etc. but Iím wondering what you guys would use to try and loosen a bit of that up.

Also, what are the chances the block warped from overheating? From my understanding, he drove it like that for about 20 minutes. Compression test showed 100-125 PSI on all cylinders before I tore it down, not enough to actually start the car after it cooled down.
Being he overheated it that probably baked the oil control rings and got them more stuck then they already were, With the engine tore down that far just do a new set of rings clean the pistons up and drill drain back holes, Your 75% there with the teardown might as well go the rest of the way with it.

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

If I were to tap the pistons out, could I just reuse the all of the same bearings? He said it burns about a quart every 1000 miles or so.

I did notice the continuous vent line was clogged too. Compressed air doesnít seem to free the clog (probably caked on burned coolant). Is there a part number for just that hard line I could get from the dealer?

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

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If I were to tap the pistons out, could I just reuse the all of the same bearings?
Lube them up with Ultra Slick or whatever and make absolutely certain everything goes back to the same place it came from. Should be just fine.

I found that pistons like that have to sit in chem dip for a long time to clean up. A fine twine or rope works great for cleaning the ring lands (after the soak of course).

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

What I would do is replace the Rod Bearings with new ones, However some people would probably inspect them and if there measurements are good re-use them, I would replace them being Im removing the pistons, Its really all up to the person and the budget their running, At the least I would be doing a ring job if I had the engine that far tore down no questions asked with drainback holes.

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

What drill bit size do you guys use to drill into the oil control groove? I assume the material isn't too hard and I can just hold the piston steady with my hand while I try to tap inward?

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

Largest bit that fits in the groove. Make a V block so it is easier to control. 3 holes into each thrust face.

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

Shouldn't the cylinder walls be honed if you're removing the pistons even just to cleanup and drill drain back holes?

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

Yes. A shop should be able to do that for ~$20-$40. When making the decision on this, keep in mind new front and rear main seals are a really good idea as well as a hot tanking of the block. Honing mess can be cleaned up by hand though if you are going for cheap cheap.

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

I think Iím just going to skip the lower then then. The engine is still in the car. Taking the block out and getting the cylinders honed even for $20 is way too much labor. I donít have a truck to just put the block in and drive to a machine shop.

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

Understandable. The block does fit nicely in a back or passenger seat of an S-Series FYI.

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

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I think Iím just going to skip the lower then then. The engine is still in the car. Taking the block out and getting the cylinders honed even for $20 is way too much labor. I donít have a truck to just put the block in and drive to a machine shop.
When I did the re-ring on my friends 1993 SOHC three years ago I didnt hone the cylinders, I just cleaned the pistons up installed new OEM rings did the drainback holes and called it a day, The engine still runs perfect with no oil usage between oil changes, 30K later and still runs fine since I did that job.

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

Lol I bet. Does anyone have the part number for that continuous coolant vent line if available? I'll have to stop at the dealer anyway on Monday for a pigtail harness on another GM car.

How were the cylinder walls on that one SL1?

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Old 01-05-2014, 12:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

That is not a guaranteed result and it is entirely possible to end up (much) worse off than before.

Nalley is showing that hose as 21031468 but it seems a little suspicious... Perhaps it is just a standard hose and the price is per foot.

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Old 01-05-2014, 12:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

The hose is generic 5/16 fuel line or 3/8 one or the other and the steel line comes off and gets rodded out. The fitting in the head unscrews and a replacement line can be fabricated from steel brake or gas line.

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Old 01-05-2014, 02:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

DoSumpthin' has some nice videos of cleaning up the pistons and drilling holes in the pistons to permanently solve the oil burning issues. Check around his youtube channel, he also has some useful videos about putting on the timing chain (DOHC) and getting it restarted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrnblJ8VZtY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRiZOTTel34

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Old 01-05-2014, 03:53 PM   #19
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Default Re: Another cracked SOHC head - Questions w/ pic's

I actually have seen those videos before and theyíre great. He really contributed to the Saturn community there. I decided against pulling the pistons since the cylinder walls should be honed and I donít have the time or resources to remove the block and get that done.

I did however see an interesting tip on the forums here and decided to try it. I had some oven cleaner around and it worked great. I let the cleaner sit on the pistons around 10 minutes and then scrubbed them using a soft brass brush. The cleaner was kind of thick so it was easy to make sure it did not get into the side where the rings are.

As Iím waiting for the head to arrive, Iím letting the pistons sit in GM piston and ring cleaner for a few days.

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