Project: Stratotrooper

SRN

Adventurer
Phase I:

Last Thursday I went hunting for why I was having such a hard time starting the Trooper. Step one was to pull the plugs; and what did I find? Coolant in four of the six cylinders! Oh, boy… This also explains why when I'd start it on these cold days my exhaust condensation plume was so big. I hadn't really thought much of it because just like normal, once the engine warmed up a bit, it'd go away. BUT, this also suggests that this is not a blown head gasket situation, but rather something worse. Like the head bolts were not properly torqued by the machine shop, or that the head is warped. Now, in the ~600 miles that I've run the engine since reinstalling it, it's never overheated and one would assume that if the heads were warped, I'd have noticed this pretty much right away (also, I'd like to think that the shop would have checked that) so I'm leaning toward the torque issue because that makes the most sense. If it were blown gaskets, I'd be seeing white smoke all the time. Also, the probability of BOTH gaskets going out at the same time is slim. With the bolts not being torqued, when the engine is cool, gaps form and coolant leaks in, when it heats up, it expands and closes the gaps and everything "seems" to be running normal again.

I spoke with the machine shop right away, to their credit thus far they are accepting responsibility. Supposedly today they will be letting me know what auto shop that they want me to take it to for the repair work to be done (they repeatedly have told me that they are machinists, not mechanics). As one can assume, I'm really not happy with their work. But as long as they make it right, we'll be square.
 

berg

Observer
Keep us trooper guys posted... I've been thinking of a rebuild on my 2002... the cummins r2.8 is looking better all the time.. wonder if there is an adapter out their?...... hmmmm

dreamin in Orem
 
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SRN

Adventurer
Phase I:

I got the Trooper back yesterday afternoon from the shop and here was the verdict: the head bolts had not been torqued properly! The machine shop agreed that it was their fault, so they covered the repair. So while I'm not terribly happy with their work, at least they are acting like stand up people and I can respect that.

Since it’s the dead of winter, I don't have much planned as far as working on it at the moment. I'll be daily driving it and making sure that everything runs right; but that’s about it until it warms up (is it spring yet?).
 

SRN

Adventurer
Weeeellll...



Due to a slight mishap on the ski slopes about three weeks ago, any major progress on the Trooper is going to be delayed for 4-6 months.
 

justbecause

perpetually lost
I'm not sure if the one that looks like a 3" wood screw looks worse, or the ones that look like they are self tapping....
 
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SRN

Adventurer
I just noticed the self tapping ones. Thats great.
I'm more fascinated by the titanium rod. That sucker isn't next to the bone, that's IN the bone. They drilled a hole from my knee to the shattered bits at the bottom of my tibia and fed that sucker in and bolted all the bits to it.
 

RoadBoss

Member
dang, I'd thought about rebuilding the engine in my trooper, but reading this has really made me not want to. hope all goes well, once you recover!
 

SRN

Adventurer
dang, I'd thought about rebuilding the engine in my trooper, but reading this has really made me not want to. hope all goes well, once you recover!
I'd still rebuild the engine, they are great vehicles and the engines are strong and reliable if taken care of. My issue was the machine shop did a shoddy job. They were a good shop, but they were more geared towards Big 3 V8's and such. Fortunately it was nothing that couldn't be corrected. So if you're looking into rebuilding it, just do you due diligence on finding a good, reputable shop that has experience with more modern engines.
 

RoadBoss

Member
I'd still rebuild the engine, they are great vehicles and the engines are strong and reliable if taken care of. My issue was the machine shop did a shoddy job. They were a good shop, but they were more geared towards Big 3 V8's and such. Fortunately it was nothing that couldn't be corrected. So if you're looking into rebuilding it, just do you due diligence on finding a good, reputable shop that has experience with more modern engines.
cool, I'll probably keep pushing mine till it starts to show signs of letting go. for now the only thing that really gets to me is intermittent valve tick, but lately its been fairly quiet. So far its been quite reliable considering it has 245k miles on it, just small issues that haven't been too difficult or expensive to fix.
 

SRN

Adventurer
cool, I'll probably keep pushing mine till it starts to show signs of letting go. for now the only thing that really gets to me is intermittent valve tick, but lately its been fairly quiet. So far its been quite reliable considering it has 245k miles on it, just small issues that haven't been too difficult or expensive to fix.
If its a 3.2L SOHC then the valve tick is common, as I'm sure you know. Its due to varnish building up on the top of the lifters. How I always used to take care of it was by running an oil with diesel detergent in it (like Rotela T6). Tick would away within a few miles after the oil change. When the tick would come back, generally six months would have gone by and it was time for another oil change.

You can also run Seafoam in the oil maybe every other change, that helps clean up the lifters too.
 
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