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Old 07-11-2020, 01:34 AM   #21
Kaervak
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1999 SL2
Default Re: I got stung today...........

I finally had the time to put into taking care of a bunch of issues with the SC2. This poor car, good god. The evidence of its maintenance history is something else.


Top engine mount, absolutely trashed. The rubber was so badly torn, the vibration felt like a wicked misfire. Replaced the mount and everything is smooth now. Also replaced the random bolts with the proper stud and nut setup for the top mount.


I ran a quart of motor flush through it cause why not and I was going to drop the oil pan and reseal it because of leaks anyway. The oil pan had already been resealed at one point and not very well. Huge amount of ultra black inside the block from getting squished out when the pan was put on last time. And several gouges on the mating surface, looks like a screw driver was hammered into the block in a couple spots. So much sludge in the bottom end too. Everything cleaned up well though, pan looked good and I got out as much sludge and junk from the bottom end as I could. The sheer amount of dirt/grease/oil all over everything from all the leaks is unreal. The rubber bushing in the engine dogbone is falling apart from being saturated with oil, it still has life left in it though amazingly.


I replaced the crank seal and that was apparently done at some point too. The good, ultra black on the crank bolt washer. The bad, ultra black all over the crank bolt threads. It all cleaned up without issue thankfully. I also have a valve cover gasket for it, just didn't get to it today. I have pulled the valve cover though and surprise, sludge/carboned up junk on the inside of the cover and all sorts of wonderful leaks from the failed gasket. The VCG will get replaced Saturday and the VC itself will be thoroughly cleaned.


The schrader valve on the low pressure line, I have no idea, seems like some sealant was used on it and has made removing the schrader impossible. I'm guessing the sealant was used due to a leaky schrader because the system is completely empty. A 50 cent valve core was all that was needed to fix it properly, but now the line is ruined as has to be replaced. Yeesh


And then while putting the serpentine back on after putting the crank pulley back on, I was amazed with what I found. Routed the belt like I've done many times before and there was a ton of slack. Stood there and just couldn't figure it out. I thought the new tensioner grenaded itself at first. And then it clicked. The tensioner was put on backwards. I have no idea how the belt didn't come off when I had the car running and I have no idea how I didn't notice it when I took the belt off.



This car has not had the best life from its previous owners to say the least. All that I have left is the valve cover gasket, front pads and rotors, weld in the new flex pipe and either weld the rear trailing arms back together or replace them if they're too far gone and a much needed degreasing. There's a bunch of other small stuff that wouldn't hurt to do, but they're just cosmetic issues and I'm not in any hurry to fix them. At the moment, I'm into the car for $407.90. Not too bad for a backup to the backup car. With my luck though, I'll get all this work done and the engine with grenade itself. Its been fun though, putting right what was once done wrong. Probably the best condition this car has been in years.
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:36 PM   #22
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

Can you post a snapshot of the service valve suspected of sealer damage? You may have two methods worth considering to replace the valve core; just enough heat to soften sealer or solvent. I don't know what solvent dissolves sealant.

Heat breaks down epoxy and super glue. If the hose must be replaced, you have nothing to lose by trying heat or solvent. The only other matter is whether or not sealer contaminated the compressor.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:12 PM   #23
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

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Can you post a snapshot of the service valve suspected of sealer damage? You may have two methods worth considering to replace the valve core; just enough heat to soften sealer or solvent. I don't know what solvent dissolves sealant.

Heat breaks down epoxy and super glue. If the hose must be replaced, you have nothing to lose by trying heat or solvent. The only other matter is whether or not sealer contaminated the compressor.
The valve unscrews, it just won't come out of the service port. My guess is an incorrectly sized replacement was forced in and some type of sealant was used to stop the resultant leak. I'll have to try removal again after finishing up the higher priority repairs. I'm not too worried about the compressor being contaminated as the amount of sealant was minimal.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:09 PM   #24
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

Maybe a clean, pair of needle nose pliers to grip the pin?
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:00 PM   #25
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

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Maybe a clean, pair of needle nose pliers to grip the pin?
That is my next plan of attack for the AC line.

However.............


All signs are pointing to a blown head gasket. Even though there was an exhaust restriction, it's still not running right. It won't rev past 4k in drive even with my foot to the floor, won't go above 30MPH. It gets up to temp VERY quickly and the entire engine bay seems like it gets way too hot compared to my 99. It doesn't overheat as the cooling fans do kick on thankfully, but still just gets way too hot IMO. The coolant reservoir does have the typical blown head gasket looking sludge in it, but not a horrible amount. Oil on the dipstick is clean though, however it's only ran for 20 minutes on this oil change. It had a badly leaking valve cover gasket and the engine is crazy dirty with oil all over it, but I'm pretty sure there is oil seeping from between the block and head as well. The exhaust also has white smoke coming from it under acceleration. So, looks like a head gasket is in order. I'm not surprised as the compression in all cylinders is low, 125psi last test I ran. I'm gonna do a leakdown test as well, but I'm pretty sure ye olde head gasket has gone to the great beyond.


Oh well, another $65 for a head gasket, bolt set and intake gasket isn't horrible.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:56 PM   #26
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

Did you remove the exhaust manifold with catcon and looked into the catcon end? It should show a honey comb substrate; the honey comb structure has the largest surface area to convert exhaust gases with platinum as the catalyst. If this honey comb became damaged, cracked, this implies the cracked pieces may be blocking exhaust flow, choking the engine. I like to use a simple description - engine constipation. Breaking up a damaged catcon into smaller pieces to fall out to empty the shell should restore full power of the engine's fine. Looking into the catcon from the exhaust manifold side is impossible and that's where damage occurs, sight unseen. Members gutting their catcons after verifying exhaust testing noticed a night and day improvement in engine performance.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:24 PM   #27
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Did you remove the exhaust manifold with catcon and looked into the catcon end? It should show a honey comb substrate; the honey comb structure has the largest surface area to convert exhaust gases with platinum as the catalyst. If this honey comb became damaged, cracked, this implies the cracked pieces may be blocking exhaust flow, choking the engine. I like to use a simple description - engine constipation. Breaking up a damaged catcon into smaller pieces to fall out to empty the shell should restore full power of the engine's fine. Looking into the catcon from the exhaust manifold side is impossible and that's where damage occurs, sight unseen. Members gutting their catcons after verifying exhaust testing noticed a night and day improvement in engine performance.

Oh yeah, pulled the manifold and the substrate is there and fully intact. I ran a bunch of cleaners through it a few days ago and engine performance improved, the car actually started with it on and the front O2 sensor in which it wouldn't do before. I pulled the manifold again today with the intention of bashing out the substrate and just started thinking more and more head gasket with all the evidence and behavior of the car. I'm still gonna gut the manifold cat and see if that makes a difference, but I don't have much hope that it will. Hopefully I'm wrong, but if it needs a head gasket, I'm not opposed to doing the job.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:59 PM   #28
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

I had some more time to put into diagnosing the SC2. It definitely needs a head gasket. Leak-down testing with cylinder 1 at TDC and the spark plugs removed from all other cylinders, air was rushing out of cylinder 2's spark plug hole. I didn't bother testing the rest of the cylinders, pretty definitive at that point. Not a big deal as I was expecting it and I'm actually looking forward to it. I've never had a car need a head gasket before and I've always wanted to do that job, now I finally get the chance. I'm debating doing the rings as well. I don't think it needs it, but if I'm already going to be pulling the head, a set of rings isn't too much additional work, in my opinion.

I also pressure tested the cooling system as the reservoir was considerably lower after I got it running. Coolant was well above the divider in the reservoir before I got it running and substantially under the divider after I got it running. I was concerned the water jacket section of the HG failed too. Turns out it's the fairly common intake manifold pipe leak. That damn thing from Dorman is almost as much as a head gasket set and head bolts, yeesh. Oh well, it's only money.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:13 AM   #29
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

An update for anyone that is interested...

The head gasket has been replaced and the head was resurfaced as well. When I pulled the head, there was a 0.002" gap between cylinder 1 and 2's combustion chamber as well as the exhaust side of the head between cylinders 2 and 3 had a warpage of 0.002". The backyard glass table head resurfacing worked very well. Less than a 0.001" gap across the entire head, quite pleased with that given that it was sheets of sandpaper glued to my patio table and some WD40 for the "machining". Reassembly of everything was uneventful, even getting the timing cover back on with the engine still in the car.


The engine was previously rebuilt as I suspected. There is a warranty tag on the block and one on the cylinder head that confirmed my suspicions, along with the poorly done quality of the rebuild. Whoever was in there last had an affinity for using excessive ultra black. I wish I knew who rebuilt it as I'd advise anyone to HIGHLY avoid them.


There were also gouges in the sealing surface of the head that thankfully came out with the resurfacing. The timing chain, guides and tensioner were reused, no issues there. The cylinder head bolts were replaced though. Oh, I pulled the water pump to make putting the timing cover back on easier and was greeted with silicone sealant instead of a gasket. Sigh.


The bottom of the timing cover has some light gouging in it as well and I suspect that is the source of the oil leak it now has. That is rather disappointing as everything else went so well. I'll have to investigate further at a later date though. The leak is manageable as is and I want to get some driving time on it to make sure it's mechanically sound.


Prior to replacing the head gasket and resurfacing, the car wouldn't go above 30MPH. Even with my foot to the floor, it had no power. That is no longer the case thankfully. I finally had the time to finish welding the exhaust so I could actually drive it and was taking it for a test run today. The car had no problems hitting 40MPH on surface streets, I haven't run it on the highway yet though. As well as it is running now, when I was driving it around it did seem a little down on power compared to my 99SL2. This car hasn't received the best care over the years so I'm attributing the lack of power to that more than anything else.


All things considered, aside from the oil leak, I'm very pleased with how things have turned out. I was worried I'd have to strip the car for parts and junk the shell given how poorly done the prior rebuild was. I'm glad that's not the case and that the car has been given a few more years of life. Completely unrelated to the rebuild, the ignition cylinder is so worn i can pull the key out at any time and if I don't lock the ignition I can use anything to start the car. Security wise, not the greatest, but I find it amusing. I'll fix it at some point though.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:05 AM   #30
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Thumbs Up Re: I got stung today...........

I've enjoyed following along as you got your SC2 running, and I look forward to many more updates. Thanks for sharing!

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Old 09-15-2020, 10:55 PM   #31
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Default Re: I got stung today...........

I love it.. You guys are good.

I'm bout to bring my sweet relic back to life.

1996 sl1

This little car has served me well, i'm glad I have the time to work on it now...
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