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Old 05-09-2010, 11:15 PM   #1
williaty
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Default Help Me With This Engine Autopsy

I've got an engine in mid-teardown. Due to outside factors, I didn't manage to get the whole thing opened up tonight so I'll be digging through the engine more tomorrow is search of answers. Here's what's up with it:

1) Engine is a 2005 EJ253 (2.5L SOHC non-turbo) with 122k miles on it.
2) Engine was at 2400RPM, low throttle when the failure began (first noises heard).
3) Engine was run at race-level intensity for 20 minutes after first noises.
4) First noises sounded exactly like an exhaust leak from inside the cabin (hence not stopping immediately).
5) There was no major loss of power or other negative driving symptoms at the time.
6) The sound appeared to be coming from the left side of the engine, under the intake manifold, roughly where the headgasket is.
7) When the left side valve cover was removed during teardown, the lock-nut for the Cylinder 2 rear intake valve was missing. The rocker adjustment screw was fully backed out and the peened end was firmly stuck into the rocker arm
8) The nut was *somewhere* in the left side head when teardown began. To find the little bastard, though, it was chased into the right head, then back into the left head, and then finally out the bottom of the block where it finally fell onto the shop floor.
9) The rocker assemblies were removed and the cam was spun, no damage to the cam was apparent.
10) No damage to the inside of the valvecover was apparent.
11) No damage to the outer surface of the cam cap or the (few) visible surfaces of the inside of the head was apparent.
12) The oil sump had MANY large flakes of bare shiny metal in it. The flakes are between 1/8" and 3/8" on their long axis. They are non-magnetic. They're very thin, but slightly thicker than aluminum foil. If you've ever used heavy stainless steel foil for controlling the spill from stage lights, it's about like that. In the shade, resting on your finger tips, the flakes appear to have no color (just silvery). In the oil pan in the sun, the flakes appear slightly golden/yellow (but again if you pull the flake out of the can the tint goes away). Pics below.
13) 3 flakes were found stuck to the inside of the block where the oil returns from the heads to the oil sump are.

Does anyone have any idea where these flakes might have come from? I'll be pulling the cam cap off and removing the cam tomorrow. I'm hoping it'll become apparent then but I'm interested to see what you think so far.



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Old 05-10-2010, 12:09 AM   #2
c_penson
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that looks like bearing material to me...
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:12 AM   #3
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it is a bearing you have a rod knock it is not going to stick to a magnet because the bearings are made from copper
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subSTIaru View Post
it is a bearing you have a rod knock it is not going to stick to a magnet because the bearings are made from copper
The material is silver, not warm colored at all, when examined underneath good light. Is copper bearing material silver even though it contains copper?
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:24 AM   #5
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I thought subaru OEM bearings were aluminum? Still...it looks like bearing to me.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:25 AM   #6
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there is layers of copper steal and mixed copper with aluminum the steal part of the bearing is the baking that goes against the rod that is why you cant get it to stick the other layers fall of first and thy are not copper color in the beginning aluminum falls of first
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:31 AM   #7
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i just looked through you post it might be part of the rocker or the nut went down towards the crank and it might have been piked up by it and rubbed against the block
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:02 AM   #8
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No doubt it's bearing material. The bearings are made of at least three layers; Babbitt, copper and a spring steel shell. The babbit layer is like .0005 inches thick and very soft so a few seconds of hot running without adequate oil and it's gone. The steel of the journal wins over the copper layer of the gasket when they touch so it basically peels it off like shaving a potato skin. Next is a battle of steel between the rod journal and shell of the bearing. If the bearing shell manages to remain attached to the rod it will wear down and the journal eats it while losing a significant amount of material itself. If the bearing comes detached it rotates around between the rod and the journal. The shell will stay intact longer but it will still do damage to the journal rod, and the material that comes off may damage cam bearings, oil pumps and tear up the oil filter element.

Since you dropped the pan, hand check the rods to see if you can feel any movement. If you found one you've found the offending spun rod bearing.



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Old 05-10-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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its bearing. like the rest of the people said. also look at your oil there, its a milky color. thats a pretty good indication on how far the damage made it. in your case its still pretty "brown" i had 3 spun bearings in my car...the oil was literally silver and looked like milk
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:01 PM   #10
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panning for gold is never good when it comes to engines!
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:23 PM   #11
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I hate panning for gold .. & come up w/ silver
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:37 PM   #12
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my oil pan looked like this:

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamal View Post
my oil pan looked like this:

That actually looks quite cool. You know, other than the complete disaster part of it.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:22 PM   #14
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So if Jamal's pictures represent a bearing failure, why are his flakes sub-millimeter while mine are 5-10mm?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:27 PM   #15
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Bearing material
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:46 PM   #16
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That seems pretty mild in your case, like the bearing hadn't lost all the copper when you stopped it.

Mine on the otherhand, ended up like this:



I took plenty of pictures:
http://jamalb.net/gallery/v/bearing_001/
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:29 PM   #17
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I got the left side head apart tonight (the one that lost the nut). The inside of the head and all of its parts show no signs of flaking. What they did show is that many of the surfaces had very small slivers driven out of them. I found a bunch the hard way with the tip of my finger. They're small enough that I can definitely see them making their way through the mesh on the bottom of the oil pickup, bypassing the oil filter on startup, and taking out a bearing. Which sucks, cause that's a lot more expensive!
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamal View Post
That seems pretty mild in your case, like the bearing hadn't lost all the copper when you stopped it.

Mine on the otherhand, ended up like this:



I took plenty of pictures:
http://jamalb.net/gallery/v/bearing_001/
How much of the rod journal did that spun bearing take out? Was the crank a tosser or could it be ground under size and reused?
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:09 AM   #19
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for me the rod and crank were both toast, but thankfully our machine shop gave me some used parts for practically nothing.



I'll tell you one thing, it's a lot better than the engine I pulled apart last week:

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Old 05-11-2010, 12:55 AM   #20
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Whoa! Total piston assplosion!
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:10 AM   #21
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willy with the amount and size of the brg material you found I can pretty much bet the crank is toast,at least one rod is toast and there is metal all thru-out the motor and expect to replace the oil cooler if you have one on the car.You will have to tear down the heads and clean every single oil passage to make sure there is no brg material anywhere.sorry to see this good luck on the rebuild if you need any advice pm me.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:19 AM   #22
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Don't forget to remove the oil passage restricters in the heads if they are the same as the dohc heads to clean the head galleries and the acvs cam pulley cavities if it has those. I'm not sure what sohc heads are like.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:07 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamal View Post
for me the rod and crank were both toast, but thankfully our machine shop gave me some used parts for practically nothing.



I'll tell you one thing, it's a lot better than the engine I pulled apart last week:

ouch!
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:30 AM   #24
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Well, turns out we were all wrong. I didn't spin a bearing.









I spun them all
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:34 AM   #25
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Delicious
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