New 3.5L from Salvage Yard - Where to Start?

Jnich77

Expedition Leader
#16
That idea turned out to be a non-starter, pun intended. Turns out that the starter mounts to the transmission, so no way to to mount it to the engine block to turn the flywheel. So after running the compression test, and getting no compression on cylinders #2 and #3, I reversed it and blew air through the hose fitting in a poor mans approach to a leak down test (None of the auto shops near me had a leak down tester available for rent!). I could hear air coming out the intake manifold from both cylinder 2 and 3, and nothing from the exhaust or crankcase, which suggests just bent valves or poorly seated valves. Only way to really tell is to pull the heads off.

Prior to that, I pulled off the front plate and checked the timing. Looked okay to me.




Pulled off the right bank (drivers side) and the valves and pistons looks fried but generally sound. No evidence of bad timing contact, no obviously miss-seated valves. But the internals of this engine are just disgustingly dirty, including the intake manifold.





Same story for the left bank, though there was large puddle of oil on top of piston #3......hmmm bad rings?






So now I am looking for machine shop recommendations here in SoCal for redoing the heads. Also, while those are shipped out, what is the best way to clean up the piston heads and clean out the intake from all the carbon junk?

Pull the pistons and use a wire wheel on a grinder. Rings and bearings are cheap, if you are this far into it, might as well freshen up the bottom end.
 

Jnich77

Expedition Leader
#18
Would love to, but that exceeds my knowledge level and possibly my tool options
Its really not that difficult. Just take a ton of pics and get a shop manual so you have instructions and TQ specs.

If you don't plan on pulling them, I guess you could bring each one to the top and hit it with a wire wheel on a drill, then clean the **** out of it. You could probably rig up a shopvac to catch the debris and make the clean up easier. Just don't touch the cylinder walls and you should be ok.

As far as tools go, it should be standard hand tools. If anything special is required most big name auto parts stores have a tool loaner program.
 

Salonika

Monterror Pilot
#19
If you’ve gone this far, why not lap the valves yourself? You didn’t want to send the motor to a shop to begin with so unless the head needs machining, save your money. I’ve done this once before on a motorcycle head, it is easy it just takes time. Tons of YouTube videos on how to DIY. And soaking the head overnight in gasoline should loosen everything up, then the old toothbrush does the rest.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#20
If you’ve gone this far, why not lap the valves yourself? You didn’t want to send the motor to a shop to begin with so unless the head needs machining, save your money. I’ve done this once before on a motorcycle head, it is easy it just takes time. Tons of YouTube videos on how to DIY. And soaking the head overnight in gasoline should loosen everything up, then the old toothbrush does the rest.
Too risky. Too many moving parts, too much chance of catastrophic failure. I can't afford to do it myself, if that makes any sense. Don't forget, I am not a mechanic and have no mechanical aptitude or ability. What takes you guys 20 minutes takes me two to three weeks to accomplish, over dozens of attempts, and usually broken/missing bolts, nuts, etc.....
 
#21
I'll agree with Nwoods here, there are 24 valves, 24 valve springs, 24 itsy bitsy valve spring keepers and more, if you're not feeling up to it, farm it out. No reason to tackle it yourself if you're not confident (or have way too much time on your hands).

That engine looks filthy inside, and a huge amount of oil, it's got to be coming from somewhere. Valve seals do have a tendency to leak, but that seems a bit extreme to me. I'm curious if they had a bad PCV valve or something that was just pumping oil into the intake. You can soak the intake in a nice degreaser and it'll probably remove most of the junk, alternatively you could take it to an automotive shop and ask them to run it through their degreaser, it might save some time.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#22
Bit tardy on the updates. I got the heads redone, and spent a significant amount of time cleaning up the pistons and block heads and the rest of the engine. Got it all back together with new timing belt, pulley's, water pump, gaskets, cylinder head bolts, tensioner, etc... Got the engine back into the vehicle, and that's where it sits. It took all of last Sunday to get two bolts on the engine to mate with the transmission housing. That was really unfun, but now that its mated, finishing up the tranny connections, torque converter bolts, starter, and exhaust pipes should complete my Saturday, and this Sunday I hope to get the wiring and hoses and manifold installed and ready for the moment of truth!

I have pretty low expectations. After putting the rebuilt heads on, I still did not get any compression in cylinder #3, but #2 came up nicely. So, 5 cylinder motor? Much like my last one........









 

Salonika

Monterror Pilot
#23
Did you put new rings on pistons? With the head work and new rings they might need to “seat” with a little run time before you get good compression. This is just a guess though since I’ve never done a compression test.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#24
No, other than attacking the block with a set of ScotchBrite pads, I didn’t do anything to the bottom half of the engine. I watched a few videos and they all seemed to require special tools and some knowledge/skills that I don’t have.
 
#25
Don't run the engine, you will loose more time and money. It's a futile exercise knowing this engine has a dead cylinder. The engine clearly needs to come all the way apart.

Are there any local forum members that can help you?

I hate to say this, but it may be time to cut your losses and move on.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#26
Well that’s just silly. I can at least drive it to the junkyard on 5 cylinders. No reason to pay to have it towed away :)
 
#27
it could be that rings are caked together, run seafoam for couple hundred miles in your oil, that could loosen them up and restore your compression. Of course if there is a crack somewhere, that wont help
 
#28
Oh man I hope it runs decent, unfortunately putting new rings when it was on engine stand with the heads off was just a couple of bolts, a cheap ring compressor and maybe manually hone those two cylinders, you could have marked each part to put it back together the same way and same location it came off, and drink a few cold ones, but I've been there with the frustration, sore, thirsty, hungry, literally spent, tired, mad, etc and just say screw it of it works it works; nowadays I learned to walk away and come back later with a fresh clear head and do it right the first time. Good luck keep us posted!
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#29
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but pulling the engine was actually pretty easy. It was way harder to get it back in, but if this one is a dud, it’s not the end of the world, though it is the end of my budget. I’m way, way over budget and the wife has cut off funds for this. So if it’s a dud, I either junk the whole rig or sell a kidney or something and pay for a rebuild.
 
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