My first rebuild

Discussion in 'Member's Garage' started by Cliff, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. MikeZ32

    MikeZ32 das Über member

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    This is considered a rough car? You could do a lot worse. Great rebuild, saw the dyno results in another thread and clearly the hard work was worth it.
     
  2. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Thanks lidz. It is a molded Winfactory CSL-R spoiler, but it was on the car when I got it. Although I do like the idea, the former owners installation must have been done by hand because there are a ton of defects un the paint and molding. A complete repaint with body work is in our future.

    The wheels are super nice. They too came with the car and were one of the main reasons I picked this car. I just wish i had another set of rear wheels so I could mount up some street tires and burnout tires :D
     
  3. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Update:

    I've had an issue with oil leaking through my valve seals. I replaced all the valve seals and this issue remained so i decided the culprit is likely worn valve guides. Long story short, I decided to do a complete rebuild. New title:

    My first rebuild 2.0

    I'm not adding any new performance parts, just a basic rebuild replacing all the seals, gaskets, valve guides, piston rings, belts and fluids. I'll also have the engine and heads honed and cleaned.

    Right now I've finished tearing everything down and I'm just waiting on my new parts to arrive from ConceptZ before dropping off the block and heads at the machine shop.

    Side note, we just sold our house and have 29 days to move out. It's great news but it certainly adds a level of stress making sure each step of the rebuild stays on schedule. This thread will be a record of whether or not I make it. lol

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  4. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    New piston rings, valve guides, and valve seals from ConceptZ came in today. I dropped those off along with my block and heads at the machine shop.

    I was told my block and piston / cylinder wear looked 'amazing' which brings back some of my confidence in rebuilding this engine again. Still going with a light hone and new piston rings as a 'while your in there' job. Also, I'll be getting a 3 angle valve job done with the new valve guides and seals.

    Itll be sometime next week before I get it back and begin assembly, but once I get it home I'll be posting pics all along the way. Excited and anxious to get back to boosting!
     
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  5. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Just a pic of the gasket kit for those looking for pics

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  6. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Looking for opinions on connecting rod side clearance.

    I have Eagle rods with a stock crank. Eagle calls for .015mm to .040mm side clearance. My clearances are:

    .013mm
    .014mm
    .015mm
    .013mm
    .012mm
    .014mm

    With that in mind I have 3 questions here, do Eagle rods side clearance typically run tighter on our cars (cranks)? Is my .012mm (.003mm too small) clearance an issue that needs to be addressed? If so, how?

    Thanks in advance
     
  7. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    I was a little worried about generating excessive heat from the friction between the rod and crank after noticing some blue spots on the crank. However, I went back to my pics from the first time I opened up the engine a while back and noticed the blue spots were already there.

    It does make me less worried about the side clearances. But i feel the .012mm clearance is still pushing the limits. Thoughts?
     
  8. beaver

    beaver southern zeds

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    Where are the blue marks located on the c/s.
     
  9. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Well I guess I should provide an update here. Long story short, I drove my car out of the garage 1 day before handing the keys over (closing) on our house, but didn't get far.

    Now the long version.

    Although I had the the build perfectly planned out on a timeline while also allowing 5 days for little surprises along the way my local machine shop completely screwed me in getting my valve guides in and heads back to me. What was supposed to take 5 days, took 16! 16 days out of the 20 days until I HAD to be completely moved out of my house. Not only did the machine shop lie to me 3 times about when my heads would be ready, they f#$% 4 of my brand new valve guides trying to force them in place without first heating the head. The worst part is I didn't have any choice but to accept the heads since I was moving in 3 days and still had to completely reassemble the engine and get it in the car and make the car road worthy.

    I am a bit OCD when it comes to engine assembly to where I literally check every nut and bolt 3 times - seriously. It does take more time but every now and then I surprise myself when I find a bolt that isn't torqued to spec on the 2nd check. Regardless, I was able to assemble the entire engine (long block) in 1 day or about 18 hours. This left me with about 1.25 days, or 30 hours, before the moving trucks arrived. I called a friend to help get the engine in the car and running.

    To put it nicely, I would have been better off without this friend. Although he isn't a Z guy, he is building his 2nd S13 drift car and has a degree in mechanical engineering so you would think he would be helpful in my situation. We initially started out by working together to get the engine in the car but then split up to work the assembly separately. It was about 5 hours into the assembly that I noticed he was making mistakes. Not tightening 1 of the driveshaft bolts, shifter linkage not installed with washers, clutch line touching the downpipes... This was about 3am in the morning so I told him to just go to bed and I'd finish up.

    Morning came as I was putting fluids in the car and buttoning up the remaining pieces to make her road worthy. She started up on first try and was running a good 14.1 AFR with -10'ish psi vacuum. I let the car warm up to operating temperature and checked for fluid leaks - none.

    My Z was finally back on the road!

    Unfortunately this was a short lived thrill as I was driving down the road I noticed coolant temps rising. My car typically runs about 172F to 175F, but since it was the hottest day of the year (100F) and I was driving on a black road in stop and go traffic, I was hoping the temps would soon stabilize. The temps were coming from my Haltech can gauge as I watched them go from 170, to 180, to 190... But I didn't see any change from the factory gauge cluster gauge, it was still slightly below the middle of the range as it had always been. I had the ac turned off, I was driving slow (less than 55mph), not boosting, but still the temps kept slowly rising. Once the gauge hit 200F I knew something was wrong and pulled over at the first available area. I turned off the car, popped the hood, and checked to see if the water pump was broken, or if the radiator was clogged, or if something was preventing the flow of coolant. When I squeeze the upper radiator hose there was zero pressure, thats when I noticed the lower radiator hose was just dangling not attached to the lower front radiator pipe. It turns out my friend didn't tighten that clamp and I never noticed.

    I had my car towed to my dad's house where I later discovered the car has really bad compression numbers in cylinder 1 and 3 (tested at operating temperatures).

    5. 120 psi 6. 120 psi
    3. 105 psi 4. 120 psi
    1. 90 psi 2. 120 psi

    I've done a little reading and it seems the most likely cause here is either a broke head gasket or a warped head from the heat. I considered going out to buy a leak-down tester but I figure either way the engine has to come back out so I may as well wait an see what the damage looks like later.

    So now we are in a rental house trying to find a permanent home so I can finally unpack all my tools and have some space to do work but then I get the news that my wife is pregnant with our first child... Obviously I'm very happy and excited, but dear god how am I ever going to have time to pull this engine again. My car has never sat for this long and in all reality it probably will not be back on the road until June 2020. HOWEVER, my wife is very understanding of my love for Z cars and how much it saddens me to see my car sitting out of commission so.... I get to buy new turbos!!! (when the engine pull happens...)

    To summarize:
    Bad machine shop used up 95% of my rebuild time
    Bad machine shop damages 4 new valve guides (pics later)
    Sleep deprived friend fails to tighten lower radiator hose
    Z overheats, warps head / head gasket fails
    Can't work on my car for about a year
    Get new turbos once the repairs start

    It's been a difficult month not having a functioning Z car, even more difficult not being able to work on my car but I do look forward to the repairs with the addition of upgrades like new turbos (probably going with a pair from ConceptZ like the ball bearing GT 2560's below) new downpipes, testpipes, engine mounts, ect. so it won't be all bad. I just hate having to drive a non boosted SUV while my wife gets to drive her turbo Focus ST. I miss the boosted life! lol

    https://conceptzperformance.com/tur...san-300zx-90-96-z32-466541-tdx-kt_p_14599.php
     
  10. beaver

    beaver southern zeds

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    That is one mfker of a tale cliff . After the preceding set of unfortunate events, now this..
     
  11. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Yep yep. However anyone who knows me understands I have always really bad luck, as in the most unlucky man they have ever met. I've always said my life would make a good book. If you're a Seinfeld fan, The Chronicles of George could be The Chronicles of Cliff. One day...

    Looking past the stolen/totaled motorcycles (yes plural...), past all the life long health issues (I even caught TB last year lol), past the fire that burned down our house a few years back, I felt most beaten down from my last Z car that was totaled by a drunk driver running a red light and hitting me in the drivers door. Oh, and he didnt have insurance so I had to keep paying for a car i didnt have for another 2 years..... Cherry Red Pearl is such a beautiful color on the 300ZX

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    Unfortunately I am fairly accustomed to these things happening and I try to take them in stride. My current Z is just making its own little mark on my life :)
     
  12. Zeo

    Zeo Active Member

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    WOW! Wtf did you do bad in a former life?:eek:
     
  13. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Haha, wish I knew!
     

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