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Old 03-16-2018, 02:44 PM   #1
chriscompton
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Default Broken piece of engine block, what now?

Welp, after owning my 97 SL2 for about 2 1/2 years (bought at 43000 just crossed 100000) I finally decided to do something about the very slow oil leak from valve cover and replace the gasket. While loosening the bolts, I discovered that the bolt on the back side of the engine, closest to the power steering fluid reservoir, was not even finger tight. I removed the cover only to discover that the part of the block that the bolt screwed into had previously been broken off and repaired with some sort of bonding material. Essentially, half way through the screw threads to the edge was held on by the bond. The bolt that I pulled out had actually been broken off inside it at some point and was no longer long enough to mate with the threads. I carried on with the new gasket installation, as not only did I need to be somewhere in the next few hours, but the leak wasn't even from that area. I did some light driving to my job and back, and it seemed to be leak free. Fast forward to this morning, I head to the junkyard to get a new bolt, and run some errands. I pull up my hood when I get home to see that the new gasket is leaking pretty bad, and making a bit of a mess. I go to install the new bolt and the bonded part came right off. The piece where the bolt mounts to the block is now sheared in half. Wish I could post pics, but I'm still short on post counts.

So I now have no idea what to do about my situation. In the meantime my valve cover is leaking, and I've got a big trip coming up in a few days. Please help! Thx!

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Old 03-16-2018, 02:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

BTW, it's bolt #5 in the torque sequence.

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Old 03-16-2018, 03:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

Guessing JB Weld

Maybe find someone who can weld it into place? Might just need a couple of tacks

Just guessing here and speaking with neither knowledge or experience. Intake side


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Old 03-16-2018, 03:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

^^ my thoughts exactly.

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Old 03-16-2018, 07:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

We really need pictures. Just post "Hi" a few more times until you hit the 15 needed.

Those threads are probably in the head, not block, but that is not too much better.

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Old 03-16-2018, 08:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

If you go and get a 93-95 aluminum cover that bolt is not even used, IIRC. Get a cover and the COMPLETE bolt set. The plastic cover is always going to leak though.

Replace warped plastic 96-98 cover with 93-95 aluminum How-To
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=165939

93-95 aluminum cam cover gasket: FEL-PRO Part # VS50451R

Last edited by OldNuc; 03-16-2018 at 08:16 PM..

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Old 03-16-2018, 09:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
If you go and get a 93-95 aluminum cover that bolt is not even used, IIRC. Get a cover and the COMPLETE bolt set. The plastic cover is always going to leak though.

Replace warped plastic 96-98 cover with 93-95 aluminum How-To
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=165939

93-95 aluminum cam cover gasket: FEL-PRO Part # VS50451R
I did exactly that about 4 years ago. Worked great and, like you said, that extra bolt is now not necessary.
When you go to the junk yard grab the bolts with it. You'll probably want to get plug wires for a 95 since the cover is slightly shorter.

-Robert

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Old 03-17-2018, 04:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

In addition to OldNuc's & RobertGary's advice, you can use this website to locate a used aluminum valve cover.

www.car-par.com

As they said, make sure that you grab the bolts and the washers. You will need a T40 Torx bit, to pull the cover off the junk engine you are sourcing from.

The Fel-Pro PermaDry gasket kit will have the new bolt grommets you need.

Make sure you get a torque wrench, and do NOT set the torque above 6.5 ft-lbs.

The specification is 89 in-lbs., or about 7.4 ft-lbs. Torque wrench calibrations, can be off by up to Ī4%. And too much torque will snap the bolts off, inside the head.

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Old 03-17-2018, 10:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

It looks like the broken bolt slot is unfortunately not the one that the aluminum cover skips. Itís the intake side left corner, #5 in the plastic cover torque sequence. I think number 6 is the one that is skipped for the aluminum. I am gonna go ahead and grab the aluminum cover from hopefully my local pick ní pull anyways and work off that.

Is the consensus that I should find someone to weld the broken piece on or could I get by with JB weld in reattaching it?

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Old 03-17-2018, 10:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

Posting again for post count.

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Old 03-17-2018, 10:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

So I can post photos.

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Old 03-17-2018, 10:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

Last one. Photos up next.

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Old 03-17-2018, 10:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

Before

After

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Old 03-17-2018, 12:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

My guess is a 50/50 chance of epoxy with immaculately clean surfaces and never over torquing the bolt otherwise the glued part will simply separate. Aluminum welding is best done by an experienced welder.

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Old 03-17-2018, 12:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

If the JB weld fix took you from 43k to 100k, I'd be inclined to give that method another shot.

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Old 03-17-2018, 01:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

A less pleasant, but not particularly hard, method would be to find another head. I don't think JB Weld is going to hold there unless you completely filled in the bolt hole with it as well and then drilled and tapped a smaller size bolt and were EXTREMELY gentle with torquing it back down when you're done. Might be worth a try.

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Old 03-17-2018, 01:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn night View Post
fify

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Old 03-17-2018, 01:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

Just break the rest off and put a nut behind it?

-Robert

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Old 03-17-2018, 03:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

How good are you at drilling? I would put a sheet-metal "girdle" around the outside of the broken piece, using a couple of screws (about 10-24 size) screwed into the head at 45 deg angle to the left-right axis of the engine. That means drilling the head, probably a right-angle drill, and tapping back where space is limited. A bottoming tap will be needed, too.

If you can get that girdle to fasten securely in place with screws, use JB Weld between the girdle and broken piece to fill in all gaps between the two and hold the broken piece tight to the head. Don't bother with JB on the broken edges, it will only make things worse by preventing the broken piece from sitting snugly against its mate. If you need to hold that piece temporarily, use cyanoacrylate. Once the boss is repaired, then tap the threads for the cover screw and see if a screw can be tightened to the proper low torque. You can do that before putting the valve cover back on. If the screw still strips, then drill/tap the boss for a helical-insert.

Welding back there would be very tricky, with much chance of doing more harm than good. Even if welding was successful, I expect there would be considerable amount of machining (file/sand, drill/tap) to get the boss back into a usable condition.

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Old 03-17-2018, 06:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: Broken piece of engine block, what now?

You will likely destroy the head by attempted welding or any other mechanical repair. Access is limited being the major reason and epoxy will never bond to oil soaked aluminum let alone the thermal cycling. Head replacement is the only "fix".

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