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Old 05-22-2007, 04:47 PM   #1
fashions
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Roll Eyes another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

hello all,
what a great forum, it has devoured my free time these past two weeks. am in the middle of our 99 dohc in car overhaul. i so wish i had be introduce to the forum 2 years ago when we got our saturn.

history;
1999, 4dr, automatic, 150k, adding oil at each fill up, teen daughter's car, good running motor, overheated last summer twice in a week, took it to pep boys for diagnosis, "blown head gasket" followed about 3 blocks from store and grayish white smoke began rolling out tailpipe, had them shut it down and towed it home, there it sat for 9 months and now time to fix it.

teardown;
amazingly little ware, no head gasket problems, hmm,.... intake bolts were a little loose ?, no signs of water in cylinders, black carbon piston tops, cyl still have hone marks on them, head pressure tested ok at local machine shop, no cracks, had head overhauled, valves all in good shape, guides ok too, no new valve parts. intake is filthy 1/16 - 1/8 inch buildup of oil and carbon yuk, a long long way from mirror polished intake.

so where is the overheating problem,......
* how about mixed antifreeze?
the car has green antifreeze in it which i would guess got added when it first overheated. after reading these forums see it should have orange antifreeze. * have we plugged the radiator?
as i recall the fan was working, it's to late now to test, manual fan would be good insurance.

QUESTIONS;
1. drill 1/16 inch oil holes in pistons to keep rings free?
2. Hasting rings only?
3. hone or not?
4. new radiator (quoted 175+tax delivered) or flush ? 150k 8yrs old

plan,
new con rod bearings,
weight and balance rods and pistons, polish rods
recon head, new valve seals - done
new rings , drill oil holes?
mild polish on intake, smooth up some
new (saturn) ects, pcv, head bolts, thermostat

would love to get closer to 40 MPG with all the highway driving we do.

your thoughts on our project are welcomed.

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Old 05-22-2007, 05:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

I have yet to do this job but, one of these days...So, I pay close attention to the discussions on here. Below is what Wolfman has posted about it for a '97. Since you didn't mention main bearings or getting the crankshaft journals polished, I'm assuming you are doing this in frame. Wolfman's gonna flame me but, I've seen him take a less emphatic stance against Hastings rings in other posts.

I plan to drill the pistons when I do this job. If I were you, I'd put a timing set in there while everythings apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman
00' and UP "improved" pistons CAN be used in ANY YEAR "S" series engine BUT, they MUST be used with 00' and up RODS. (You CANNOT use 00' and up pistons with Earlier rods or you will have clearance issues.)

I have yet to see an running "S" series engine that needed new pistons when disaasembled.

DO NOT use "Hastings" rings! (The OEM supplier) Use "Total Seal" instead. Used in pre 00' engines, these rings have shown to work better, and all but eliminate oil consuption issues in pre 00' engines.

If I were going to do an in frame rebuild (it does not need one at 97k) of my personal 97' DOHC SL2, my shopping list would be:

00' and UP pistons/rods/rings (Total Seal rings) Junkyard parts will do provided they are PROFESSIONALLY INSPECTED prior to use.
97' OEM Timing set-FROM SATURN (includes chain/guides/sprockets/oil pump "kit")
97' OEM gasket set, including head, cam cover, valve guide seals, intake and exhaust
97' OEM timing chain cover to crankshaft seal
97' OEM rear main seal
Clevite Michigan 77' Rod and Main bearings
NEW head bolts (old head bolts can be reused, but they are TTY (Torque to yield) so for the minimal added expense, new is a better idea)

Machine shop work: 3 angle valve job on head, install new valve guide seals.
Check rods ( ONLY if replaced or showing visable damage) for out of round. Resize if necessary.
If engine is removed, (not in frame rebuild) 10/10 crankshaft rod and main journals and polish.

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Old 05-22-2007, 06:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

hi barnowl,
thanks for the clarification on rings. yes this is an in car overhaul.
we do have oem top end gasket set,
(daughter pick it up with torn bag from dealer) should it have fuel rail o rings in it? the o rings are not there.

knowing what a pain it is to get the timing chain off makes sence.
will need to add the timing cover seal to the shopping list.
ours was not leaking. the engine had no oil leaks just drank it.
piston images



thanks for the reply.

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Old 05-22-2007, 08:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Good looking piston,how did ya clean it ?
I put mine into several types of solvent ,and G M piston & ring cleaner .
took me several days of soaking and scraping and rubbing and spraying off,
and they still barely came clean enough to reuse.
Installed Sealed Power rings ,simular to O E M ,except the oil expander had a little guide wire spanning the gap .
Drilled (one ) 1/16 in. hole in the oil ring groove toward the back side
at a point between the the cutouts for valve clearence .
time will tell if this is A sugcess .
The last thing I wanted to do was make a mess that couldn't be traced to one thing !

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Old 05-22-2007, 08:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by fashions View Post
intake is filthy 1/16 - 1/8 inch buildup of oil and carbon yuk, a long long way from mirror polished intake.
Does this mean he had bad valve guide seals? Could this have been the source of his dissapearing oil?

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Old 05-23-2007, 05:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by fashions View Post
hi barnowl,
knowing what a pain it is to get the timing chain off makes sence.
will need to add the timing cover seal to the shopping list.
ours was not leaking. the engine had no oil leaks just drank it.
piston images
You'll be happy to know that the timing cover seal is nothing but RTV. No parts required that you don't already have.

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Old 05-23-2007, 02:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by oseberg View Post
Does this mean he had bad valve guide seals? Could this have been the source of his dissapearing oil?
As I understand the oil was burned in the combustion and out the tail pipe, then the pvc system contributed to the oil usage into the intake from the excessive blow by from the rings.

I'll double check with the machine shop and ask about the seals. When I picked it up we were told the head had very little ware and no new parts were needed. Gave them the valve seals from the oem gasket set.

Some of it is oily but most is powdery, even thick powdery build up on the back side of the throttle body butterfly.

Other forum members may want to check their butterfly's on the throttle body for excessive carbon build up. I am expecting cleaning that up will help mpg and performance too.

Are those the valve seals that are recomended here in the forum?

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Old 05-23-2007, 09:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr B View Post
Good looking piston,how did ya clean it ?
I put mine into several types of solvent ,and G M piston & ring cleaner .
took me several days of soaking and scraping and rubbing and spraying off,
and they still barely came clean enough to reuse.
bottle of ammonia from the grocery store ($1.39 for half gallon). soaked (full strengh) the pistons in a plastic tray and brushed with tooth brush, scraped lightly, the carbon was soften and came of cleanly. soaked several times, it does come off with out damage to alum. soaked for 2-3 hrs. doesn't desolve oil quickly. doesn't seem to eat your hands either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr B View Post
Drilled (one ) 1/16 in. hole in the oil ring groove toward the back side
at a point between the the cutouts for valve clearence .
time will tell if this is a success .
only one hole drilled at 90 deg to the piston wrist pin in the oil ring grove is that correct?

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Old 05-24-2007, 01:26 AM   #9
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Wrench Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Total Seal rings warning;

"When using Total Seal Rings be sure to disable the PVC system. The Total Seal Rings reduce blow so much, that the PVC system can begin to scavenge oil from the crankcase and cause oil consumption. Disable your PVC system."http://www.howellautomotive.com/inde...ROD&ProdID=192

can any one offer experience on pcv system an total seal rings? wolfman? barnowl?

am shoping for rings an came across this note at end of description of total seal ring functions.

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Old 05-24-2007, 06:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

As I said, I can't claim first hand experience but, I suspect what you are reading refers the Total Seal gapless rings. Later in the thread where I scavenged that quote, Wolfman said he recommended the Total Seal conventional classics.

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Old 05-24-2007, 12:27 PM   #11
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Post Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnOwl View Post
As I said, I can't claim first hand experience but, I suspect what you are reading refers the Total Seal gapless rings. Later in the thread where I scavenged that quote, Wolfman said he recommended the Total Seal conventional classics.
yes this was the gapless rings the link / note is refering to.

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Old 05-24-2007, 12:39 PM   #12
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Thumbs Up Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Bore ware after 150k miles on cylinders ...?

+.004 on a cyl at the bottom by the wristpin / piston drain slots. yes, thats correct the cylinder got smaller.... carbon build up.

otherwise, NO ware in cylinders! not even .001 all were .000 at 82mm, 3.220 inches. no egg shape at all.

this was checked by the owner of our local machine shop with an impressive cylinder dial micrometer 18" long that he said was $1100 tool.

know wonder you can get 490k on the motor, if we keep this ware pattern up who knows how long it will last. truely amazing.

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Old 05-24-2007, 12:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

You can probably still see the marks from the factory hone.

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Old 05-24-2007, 04:45 PM   #14
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Post Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnOwl View Post
You can probably still see the marks from the factory hone.
...black carbon piston tops, cyl still have hone marks on them,...

yes your right on about the factory hone marks. our concern was egg shape cylinders from overheat, but thank goodness not.

the intake is soaking on ammonia and it is cleaning the oil / carbon down to the bare alum with out scrubbing. its doing a wonderful job.

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Old 05-26-2007, 11:26 AM   #15
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnOwl View Post
Since you didn't mention main bearings or getting the crankshaft journals polished, I'm assuming you are doing this in frame.
barnowl,
as for the polish of rod, i was refering to the outside of the rods them selves not the journals. i live in silver jewelry making country and buffing / polishing equipment is prevent. once i check the weights of each items i will grind, buff, polish to the same weight of the pistons and rods. smoothing casting marks, venturing the throttle body, cleaning up intake ports, ect.

would sure like to see a 2000+ piston image to see if oil path back to sump is any different then my pistons.

can someone provide an image?

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Old 05-26-2007, 01:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Polished rod beams on a Saturn? WHY?
These little motors barely generate enough horsepower to hurt themselves as is. Polishing the rod beams is a waste of time and could even be detrimental to the engine if improperly done.

As for the piston being out of round, it is supposed to be that way. Pistons are manufactured to allow for the added mass of the wrist pin boss to expand with heat. ALWAYS mike the piston at 90 degrees to the wrist pin. Follow the manufactures detailed instructions on fitting the rings to the pistons, paying particular attention to the side clearances and do not forget to check the ring end gaps before you install them. Oh yeah, you have checked the skirt clearances in the bore, haven't you?

As for drilling holes in pistons? I might try it, but then again, consider the source. I have built hundreds of engines over the past 40 years of doing this stuff for a living, I have the correct stuff to do it with, and fully understand the definition of stress riser. If the terminology of "drill, ream, and debur" escapes you, buy new pistons with oil return holes.

The ammonia is a good choice for aluminum parts, just be sure to flush it well so as to neautralize the corrosive effects. Try heating your solution to 160-180 degrees on a hot plate and it really speeds up the process. For those of you wanting to get in the shadetree mechanic business, an old dishwasher makes a cheap parts cleaner. Just run it off a 5 gallon bucket of cleaning solution and route the drain hose back to the bucket.

Take the crank rods, and pistons back to the machine shop and have them "Dynamically" balanced as an assembly. Static weight balancing hasn't been used for years.

Polishing the manifold and TB is a nice idea if you have a flow bench to check your handy work on. I can't count the times I have had people bring in a vehicle that they have just "tricked out the way the guys in the magazine did it" wondering why it runs worse than it did before they "worked on it".

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Old 05-26-2007, 06:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

ABOUT THE ONE HOLE !
Yes you read correctly ,I only drilled one .
my thinking on this is :
the drainback ports on the outside probably worked pretty good for awhile,
but later weren't sufficient .
not to go overboard on this ........thought there must have been A logical reason the engineers designed those pistons like this .
The back side seemed to me to be the area with the least amount on
thrown oil as the engine rotates,so I added this hole ,mostly as A kind of burp
hole for the other drains .
Is this correct ? probably not !
is this prudent ? I think so ,at least it is something that can be tested /evaluated as A first simple step,towards the solution !!!!!!!!!

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Old 05-26-2007, 07:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

ABOUT THE P C V system !
This was the first step to the modern emision system .
there isn't any reason to remove this !
Air is pulled through the engine taking blowby gases away to be burned
as the engine runs, NO blowby gases ? the engine can still use warm air
added to the fuel/air mix,will help the engine run a little cooler internally .

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Old 05-26-2007, 08:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

Quote:
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ABOUT THE P C V system !
This was the first step to the modern emision system .
there isn't any reason to remove this !
Air is pulled through the engine taking blowby gases away to be burned
as the engine runs, NO blowby gases ? the engine can still use warm air
added to the fuel/air mix,will help the engine run a little cooler internally .
I was wondering about the PCV system. Howcome my SL2 has a PCV valve and tube that goes to the intake, and then another tube that goes from the valve cover to another location on the intake? Why two? And is the PCV valve a oneway valve that only lets the air out of the crankcase? Should the other tube have a valve that only lets air into the crankcase? Is the PCV system supposed to consist of two hoses?

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Old 05-26-2007, 11:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: another 99 dohc overhaul - stuck oil rings

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I was wondering about the PCV system. Howcome my SL2 has a PCV valve and tube that goes to the intake, and then another tube that goes from the valve cover to another location on the intake? Why two? And is the PCV valve a oneway valve that only lets the air out of the crankcase? Should the other tube have a valve that only lets air into the crankcase? Is the PCV system supposed to consist of two hoses?
The second hose isn't part of the PCV system. The PCV valve opens when vacuum reaches a certain point to pull excess pressure from the crankcase. The other hose is just a fresh air hose to pull in fresh air when the crankcase is in a vacuum condition like when it's cooling down.

As for the one hole thing, every post I've ever read on this subject wher they gave details, says 4 holes.

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