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Old 02-15-2021, 06:52 PM   #1
Ccrussell
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Default Sl1 engine rebuild

Hello,
Just started my engine today after a rebuild.
Had the block honed, head serviced, everything checked and cleaned by machinist.Did the assembly myself with the factory shop manual, taking my time and triple checked everything as I progressed. Checked clearances, used torque wrench as required. Used assembly lube, packed the oil pump with Vaseline and pre-lubed as per Oldnuc procedure. When starting I had a flooding condition twice until I sorted that out corrected it and installed a fresh set of plugs .
Motor started ran about 1000 RPM then settle down into a nice idle I ran it this way for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Temperature gauge started to climb noticed I was not getting any coolant coming back around to the coolant tank via the small pipe from the far side of the engine.
Shut the car off decided to let it cool took the dog for a walk. Came back 90 minutes later double checked that I had installed the thermostat ,
started the car back up it started immediately. This time however it had a horrific sound as though something a tool for example had fallen down into the serpentine belt . shut it off immediately.
Investigated sound, found nothing mechanical happening, started it again the noise was still there. Shut it off immediately. Checked the oil which now smelled fuel diluted.
Shut it off within about 10 seconds dumped my oil which as I said smelled fuel diluted and looked a bit cloudy.
I have since pulled the oil filter and drained the oil.
Please advise have I damaged a bearing at this point? Right at this moment I am so disgusted I feel as though I need to throw in the towel what did I do?
Anyone please weigh in would be appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2021, 07:28 PM   #2
billr
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

First thing to do is take a deep breath, then be thankful for all the good luck you do have. Yes, the bearings may be ruined, but they are not all that expensive and the crank is probably still OK. Changing bearings is not all that horrible a job.

I am wondering about the "flooding". What was the extent of that (symptoms) and what caused it? Bad, engine-damaging flooding is pretty rare with FI. Even back in the carb days damaging flooding was not common. And, I did have engines flood to the point of hydraulic lock and not get damaged enough to notice. Point is, we need to understand as well as possible to make the best guess of what to do next. Obviously, an engine tear-down for full inspection is the safest course of action; but I think you would like to avoid that if possible.

Likewise, there is concern about the coolant not seeming to circulate and the oil now being "different". The t-stat would not cause much problem, whether stuck open or shut, so lets ignore the t-stat. I hope you still have the oil you drained and can put it in a clear container to let it settle; see if it separates into distinct layers of oil and coolant.

I would remove the valve cover and turn the engine by hand, looking for anything obvious there. I would also remove the accessory drive belt and run it briefly with the belt off, see if the horrible noise is gone. That is a bit risky, though, as any running, if the noise is a rod coming loose, is a gamble. It is a risk I would take, but want you to be aware it is a risk...

There is also a chance the noise is in the clutch/trans (auto or manual), even a starter not full dis-engaging; but disassembly is going to be required to find something there.

I would also install a mechanical oil-pressure gauge to watch on the very next attempt to crank and start this engine.

I may be going off in the weeds here, but I am focused on your hints the oil may have been contaminated. If that is the case, further running of the engine could convert this from a "problem" to a "disaster".
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Old 02-15-2021, 08:52 PM   #3
Ccrussell
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

Billr,
Thank you for the quick reply I have calmed down considerably . Sometimes I guess you just have to step off.
Yes I have kept the oil I did not put it into a glass container yet although I do not believe there is any coolant mix with the oil. It’s color could be from the Vaseline in the oil pump and the red lube I used on the journals.
Guess we will see when I let it settle out in a jar tomorrow.
Your suggestions of pulling the valve cover and taking off the serpentine belt are good ideas.
As to why coolant was not flowing in that part of the head is a curiosity. When I pulled the CTS to have a look it relieved pressure much as when you open say a soda bottle. Had that rushed sound of air being relieved . I started to think the head gasket was installed incorrectly but that’s not possible it only goes on one way.
I tried cranking the engine perhaps as many as 10 to 12 times, after the oil pressure light had gone out, but before the engine first fired. (Waiting for the starter to cool down. ) That’s my thinking that I introduced a lot of fuel to the crank case. Twice the plugs were wet, before switching to new plugs.
Also wondering when I cleaned the intake manifold with brake clean ,if some of it had still remained inside? But I’m thinking that most of it probably should have flashed off. I blew it out with compressed air.
Shall I refill oil/re-prime , new filter and try again? After spinning by hand?
Crazy thing is car was running nice for that brief 15-20 minutes.

If motor has to come back out if noise persists it won’t be end of the world,
Just big pita.
Thank you many times for taking the time out to think about this. Russ
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Old 02-15-2021, 09:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

Well, if you are going to try running it with the belt off, you certainly should replace the filter and oil! I'm hoping the noise is from something driven by the belt. Post a picture of what you see in that oil jar after it has time to settle.

Are you sure you have the correct head gasket? I don't know why, but it looks like the SOHC and DOHC have different gaskets, but either would physically fit, since the block is the same. It would have to be passages for coolant, oil, or EGR that are different.

Last edited by billr; 02-15-2021 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 02-15-2021, 09:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

I'd definitely turn it over by hand and see if you could isolate between motor internals and something external. Second thing I'd do is look under the cam cover. Good luck!
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

Hello,
Pulled the valve cover last night, cam lobes look unblemished, couple drops of water under valve cover. Oil shows no water or coolant at all, it has been sitting for 15 hours, no separation, but is showing suspension of metal , that I can see while holding a strong drop light right next to it. Could not get a good photograph ,camera just would not show the oil clearly.
Spun motor by hand ,Motor turns over smoothly With no restrictions.
Based on oil alone, I am going to pull the engine, open it up for a better look.
Hoping damage will be limited to just the set of bearings.
I have not been yet able to verify if the correct head gasket was installed however based on the Fel-Pro part number I would say yes although I wonder if I missed something upon installation . Hope that was not a real newbie kind of move.
Question: do the rockers need to be pulled from the head to verify their integrity?
Ie back to machine shop?
I will update my progress
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

Hello,
Well re manufactured head ordered from Odessa cylinder head exchange ,In Florida . Hoping it gets here soon. Meanwhile I’m detailing the engine compartment, cleaning the interior real well, polished the plastic headlamps(what a difference). Prepping the hood and trunk lid for a fresh respray. Those look bleached from the sun. Hoping to just shoot some simple single stage paint once the temps stabilize around here.
For a daily “beater” it’s starting to look pretty good again.
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

Ok
The cylinder head arrived yesterday it looks pretty nice. At least giving a visual inspection every surface and component seems freshened hope it performs as expected going together ASAP
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

Well,
I got my “new “remanufactured head in the mail. Looks nice, have it installed on the car. The gasket that I used was correct , shame it was used and cannot be reused. Getting pretty good at disassemble/ reassemble now.
Hoping this time is the charm. Will need to do a detergent flush of oil from coolant,
Wondering if I need to use ginger root/ walnut shell golden seal as I believe Oldnuc had once advised ? Think he said this was originally installed by the factory? Couldn’t find that specifically but thought he said that.
Will be nice to see this SL returned to service. It sheltered in the garage long enough now.
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

Hello,
Ok , motor back together again! Started it last night, fired immediately. Had a lifter tick for the first 15 minutes of run time, then abated. Car came up to operating temperature, no leaks. I have not yet filled the cooling system with detergent to clean I will do that hopefully this weekend.
Surely hoping that this time I have no further issues , ha.
Fingers crossed that there are no further issues and I experience 150,000 more miles of trouble free motoring
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sl1 engine rebuild

Sounds good.

Highmile
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