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Tyler, How goes it

Posted by rkj 
rkj
April 05, 2010 09:18PM
Have you been driving the car?, smoking stopped?
April 06, 2010 10:13AM
Quote
rkj
Have you been driving the car?, smoking stopped?

So, I actually have stuff to report, but was waiting until I had my oxygen sensor replaced so that I could comment on everything. But you asked so nicely, and I'm not busy, so here it goes smiling smiley

More good and bad.

The Good:
Nothing visible out the tail pipe. Seems to run a little rough when cold (like it's missing). And sometimes a lack of power when warm and not at WOT. Unplugging the oxygen sensor causes it to run a bit better, so I'm going to hack up another $35 mustang sensor and stick it in since I'm still getting random 1221 codes that have no pattern. Should be able to get that done this evening. Coolant temp passes inspection, though my resistance of my (What's the giant capacitor called that produces the high volts for the spark?) is off by a bit. It seems I have a spare around here someplace I pulled from a junk yard. I'll have to go find that and test it, maybe do a swap and see if the driveability changes at all.

At WOT the car runs wonderfully. It's like coasting a bike down a steep hill as the RPMs go up. No hesitation, no lack of power, nothing but smooth clean power all the way to redline. I haven't done that too many times, but once I broke her back in, I decided that if she was going to break near redline on me, she might as well do it now. So far I've put near 100 miles on her in the last week. Part of this was due to a friend coming out this last weekend who loves to go on drives (and consequently, loves my car), and part of it is that my place of work is so close my engine doesn't ever get warm. So If I want a warm engine, I have to intentionally go out driving. Not that I mind smiling smiley
After all that, no coolant in the oil, no oil in the coolant. No problems at all, except that...

(The bad) I'm loosing coolant. And I think I'm loosing it out the seal on the passengers side. I just figured this out on Sunday. I knew I had started loosing a bunch of coolant, more than I was in the first 40 miles. Here we are on the 70-100 mile mark and the entire seal is wet, and the side of the engine appears wet. However there isn't enough leaking to actually drip on the ground. I've looked and looked for some sort of leak near the front of the engine, like a coolant hose, that could be painting my engine with coolant. So far I haven't found anything.

All the rest of the seals are holding though eye rolling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
April 06, 2010 11:32AM
Quote
Earendil
Quote
rkj
Have you been driving the car?, smoking stopped?

So, I actually have stuff to report, but was waiting until I had my oxygen sensor replaced so that I could comment on everything. But you asked so nicely, and I'm not busy, so here it goes smiling smiley

More good and bad.

The Good:
Nothing visible out the tail pipe. Seems to run a little rough when cold (like it's missing). And sometimes a lack of power when warm and not at WOT. Unplugging the oxygen sensor causes it to run a bit better, so I'm going to hack up another $35 mustang sensor and stick it in since I'm still getting random 1221 codes that have no pattern. Should be able to get that done this evening. Coolant temp passes inspection, though my resistance of my (What's the giant capacitor called that produces the high volts for the spark?) is off by a bit. It seems I have a spare around here someplace I pulled from a junk yard. I'll have to go find that and test it, maybe do a swap and see if the driveability changes at all.

At WOT the car runs wonderfully. It's like coasting a bike down a steep hill as the RPMs go up. No hesitation, no lack of power, nothing but smooth clean power all the way to redline. I haven't done that too many times, but once I broke her back in, I decided that if she was going to break near redline on me, she might as well do it now. So far I've put near 100 miles on her in the last week. Part of this was due to a friend coming out this last weekend who loves to go on drives (and consequently, loves my car), and part of it is that my place of work is so close my engine doesn't ever get warm. So If I want a warm engine, I have to intentionally go out driving. Not that I mind smiling smiley
After all that, no coolant in the oil, no oil in the coolant. No problems at all, except that...

(The bad) I'm loosing coolant. And I think I'm loosing it out the seal on the passengers side. I just figured this out on Sunday. I knew I had started loosing a bunch of coolant, more than I was in the first 40 miles. Here we are on the 70-100 mile mark and the entire seal is wet, and the side of the engine appears wet. However there isn't enough leaking to actually drip on the ground. I've looked and looked for some sort of leak near the front of the engine, like a coolant hose, that could be painting my engine with coolant. So far I haven't found anything.

All the rest of the seals are holding though eye rolling smiley

What seal is that?, in a hundred miles how much coolant does it use?

Nice to hear it runs fine though, check the valves yet.

Rick
April 06, 2010 12:05PM
Sorry about the lack of clarity there. By the seal I meant "THE seal", or "head gasket".

I'm tracking coolant level vs mileage now. I had just been topping it off for a while, and that doesn't give me a feel for how much was missing, nor was I real sure how far I had driven since I topped it off last. If I had to guess, I'd say a cup of coolant over 20 miles.

I did the valves before I even started the car for the first time. 50 miles in I thought that it was a little loud, and that I could make it quieter. So I did all the valves again and she got a little bit quieter. I mean seriously, the engine sounds and works just as good if not better than it ever has...except that it looks like one side of my engine is sweating coolant sad smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
April 06, 2010 03:20PM
Quote
Earendil
Sorry about the lack of clarity there. By the seal I meant "THE seal", or "head gasket".

I'm tracking coolant level vs mileage now. I had just been topping it off for a while, and that doesn't give me a feel for how much was missing, nor was I real sure how far I had driven since I topped it off last. If I had to guess, I'd say a cup of coolant over 20 miles.

I did the valves before I even started the car for the first time. 50 miles in I thought that it was a little loud, and that I could make it quieter. So I did all the valves again and she got a little bit quieter. I mean seriously, the engine sounds and works just as good if not better than it ever has...except that it looks like one side of my engine is sweating coolant sad smiley

Crap, so the side of the head/motor is leaking from the head gasket. I was going to suggest you check the head for straightness/warpage. I completely forgot sad smiley did you get all the old gasket off the head and deck surfaces?

I wonder if it's too late to run over the head bolts again- Ferdy, anyone, what do you think?
April 06, 2010 03:35PM
Quote
rkj
Quote
Earendil
Sorry about the lack of clarity there. By the seal I meant "THE seal", or "head gasket".

I'm tracking coolant level vs mileage now. I had just been topping it off for a while, and that doesn't give me a feel for how much was missing, nor was I real sure how far I had driven since I topped it off last. If I had to guess, I'd say a cup of coolant over 20 miles.

I did the valves before I even started the car for the first time. 50 miles in I thought that it was a little loud, and that I could make it quieter. So I did all the valves again and she got a little bit quieter. I mean seriously, the engine sounds and works just as good if not better than it ever has...except that it looks like one side of my engine is sweating coolant sad smiley

Crap, so the side of the head/motor is leaking from the head gasket. I was going to suggest you check the head for straightness/warpage. I completely forgot sad smiley did you get all the old gasket off the head and deck surfaces?

I wonder if it's too late to run over the head bolts again- Ferdy, anyone, what do you think?

I checked it for straightness as best I could. I didn't take it to a machine shop or anything. And I got 99% of the old gasket spots off. It was down to the point of hardly visible. But I think it's leaking on the side with the least stuck gasket problems. The other side of the engine, and the place where the two halves mate, is bone dry. It's only on the passengers side that it appears wet below the head.

What happens if the head bolts are over tightened? Do you risk breaking the bolt, or can you warp the head by tightening it down?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
April 06, 2010 08:42PM
I checked it for straightness as best I could. I didn't take it to a machine shop or anything. And I got 99% of the old gasket spots off. It was down to the point of hardly visible. But I think it's leaking on the side with the least stuck gasket problems. The other side of the engine, and the place where the two halves mate, is bone dry. It's only on the passengers side that it appears wet below the head.

What happens if the head bolts are over tightened? Do you risk breaking the bolt, or can you warp the head by tightening it down?[/quote]

There's only one way to check if the head is straight; a feeler gauge and a straight edge (you can use a roofing square), these heads have a habit of pocketing.

If the surface is stained, that's cool but if you can feel a raised area that is not good.

overtighened head bolts can snap, warp heads and I'm sure other things I don't want to think about.
April 06, 2010 10:36PM
Update:

New O2 sensor in. No more check engine lights, and car runs a bit better smiling smiley

Over 4 starts and 20 miles I lost 2 cups of coolant sad smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

April 07, 2010 09:49AM
Time to pressurize the cooling system and see where it's coming from.

alan
rkj
April 07, 2010 09:05PM
Quote
alanrw
Time to pressurize the cooling system and see where it's coming from.

alan

Good idea.
April 07, 2010 10:22PM
Pull the plugs, pressurize the cooling system and crank it over. If coolant shoots out the plug holes, that's problem 1. If it seeps from between the head and side of the block, that's problem 2.

alan
April 07, 2010 11:41PM
Quote
alanrw
Time to pressurize the cooling system and see where it's coming from.

alan

Isn't this something you pay a mechanic a fair amount of money to do?
I do have an air compressor... is this something I could pull off with a few hose clamps and some adapters?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

April 08, 2010 10:21AM
Well, they make a tool that fits over the coolant reservoir. You then pressurize it to 15 psi and see what you have. Conceivably, you could make your own with an extra coolant reservoir cap and tire valve stem' Pump it up with a bike pump and use a tire gauge to check your pressure. You drill a hole (same diam as on a wheel) and pop in the valve stem. Or make an adapter that goes from the feed hose into the cooling system.

alan
rkj
April 08, 2010 03:58PM
Quote
alanrw
Well, they make a tool that fits over the coolant reservoir. You then pressurize it to 15 psi and see what you have. Conceivably, you could make your own with an extra coolant reservoir cap and tire valve stem' Pump it up with a bike pump and use a tire gauge to check your pressure. You drill a hole (same diam as on a wheel) and pop in the valve stem. Or make an adapter that goes from the feed hose into the cooling system.

alan

A warning Tyler, what Alan is talking about is a hand pump deal. You get a good read on things because you have a pressure gauge right there to look at (great for leak down tests). I don't think these testers are that much money; it might be a good idea to have one now that you've joined the ranks smileys with beer

Rickthumbs up
April 08, 2010 04:10PM
Bicycle pumps have integral pressure gauges and fit on schrader style valves.

Check your local autoparts store, many rent/lend tools.

alan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/08/2010 04:12PM by alanrw.
April 14, 2010 03:40PM
Update:

I have yet to pressurize the system. It's been raining the entire last week, and work deadlines are this friday.
But here is an update for the curious, and a few questions.

I found at least two potential leaks in the coolant system relating to hoses (fancy way of saying I fail at putting hose clamps on). However I am still losing coolant.

I also still have some white smoke out the tail pipe, but not all the time, and as far as I can see in my mirror, not when the car is warmed up. I'm aware some is okay, it just strikes me as too much... certainly most cars don't have this much.
My car is also running rougher and rougher at start. Like flat out sounds and feels like only a few cylinders are firing. This goes on for a number of minutes, say 3-5. Even if my cylinders ere filled to the brim with coolant, woudn't it take a lot less than 3 minutes to clean out the cylinder? even at idle, that's 2100 revolutions. Coolant temp has checked out resistance wise. What else relies on engine temp, that would cause the car to miss at RPMs from 700-2500 ?
The cap and rotor weren't in great shape, so I'm going to replace those and see how much if anything clears up. Still, they shouldn't be temperature sensitive, right?
After a good long drive this weekend, I'm going to pull the plugs after letting her cool down, and turn her over. If the cylinders are so filled with coolant that she chokes for a few minutes, I should see something out the plug holes, yes?

Oh, one more thing! After all this work, the coolant system seems far more pressurized than it used to be. Could this be gasses from the cylinder? I can't find a standard operating pressure for the coolant system. Anyone ever measured this before?

Still no coolant in the oil or vice versa, so I'm continuing to drive her.


I'd like to run through an exercise in "What If".

What If I am losing coolant from around the head gasket?
I only see 3 possibilities:

1. Bad/flawed gasket, which strikes me as unlikely.
2. "crap" got between the head and the gasket, forcing a space. I find this highly unlikely as well.
3. The head is warped for any number of reasons.

The first could be fixed with a new gasket, the second could also be fixed if it did no damage, but I may never find anything, and the third would require a ton of money, yes?

So it seems like the most likely cause, a warped head, is something I can't fix, therefore there is no (good) reason to take the car apart again. I still may do it though if I become positive nothing is leaking, and my coolant is going away.

Could a mechanic tell me if I have coolant out my tail pipe? Do that have an exhaust analyzer that checks humidity?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

April 14, 2010 09:21PM
There's a 4th possibility in the "what if" category that I think is the most likely. What if you are still freaking out? smiling smiley

Really, think about this. The car wasn't using a bunch of coolant before the broken spring caused you to have to work on it, right? You've never gotten it too hot, right? Why would the head suddenly be warped? It doesn't make any sense, so it probably isn't true (yeah, I watch Judge Judy smiling smiley). You have just confessed that you found some loose hose clamps. Keep looking for stuff like that. That's probably where the coolant is getting out. I had a radiator that leaked at the sides where the plastic ends joined the aluminum center section. Do you see any moisture in that area? That's a leak if you do. Is your radiator cap in good shape? What about that hose between the radiator and the overflow tank. Mine is old and dry as hell. I know I loose some coolant at each end of mine, but it isn't bad enough to make me fix it. Is yours in good shape?

As for coolant in the cylinders. If you could see any coolant coming out of a spark plug hole when you crank the engine, that would be one monsterous leak. It would be so bad you wouldn't be asking us about it, you would already have the engine torn open again.

What you see in the exhaust is water vapor from the combustion in your cylinders. If it goes away after 3-5 minutes it sounds normal to me. I drove a car with a blown head gasket once and it made a huge cloud behind the car. There was no mistaking that for a little start-up moisture. The car also ran like crap - not a little missing.

Keep looking for little leaks. It's still too soon to be thinking you have a disaster on your hands.

John
April 14, 2010 09:41PM
Quote
Earendil

Oh, one more thing! After all this work, the coolant system seems far more pressurized than it used to be. Could this be gasses from the cylinder? I can't find a standard operating pressure for the coolant system. Anyone ever measured this before?

I forgot to address this in the last post.

You can check for a blown head gasket by running the engine with the radiator cap off and looking for bubbles in the coolant. This is easier on a car with a cap right on the radiator than the ones with the cap on the tank, but if you have compression leaking into the coolant you'll see bubbles. Big bubbles, not little ones like in a drink. And be careful. Don't take the cap off when the engine is already hot.

Get a system pressurizer and test your system. That's the best way to find small leaks. I've seen little tiny leaks that couldn't be found become little fountains that were easy to find when the system was pressurized. You can rent or borrow one from most of the big auto parts chain stores.

John
rkj
April 15, 2010 03:36PM
Quote
John Yust
Quote
Earendil

Oh, one more thing! After all this work, the coolant system seems far more pressurized than it used to be. Could this be gasses from the cylinder? I can't find a standard operating pressure for the coolant system. Anyone ever measured this before?

I forgot to address this in the last post.

You can check for a blown head gasket by running the engine with the radiator cap off and looking for bubbles in the coolant. This is easier on a car with a cap right on the radiator than the ones with the cap on the tank, but if you have compression leaking into the coolant you'll see bubbles. Big bubbles, not little ones like in a drink. And be careful. Don't take the cap off when the engine is already hot.

Get a system pressurizer and test your system. That's the best way to find small leaks. I've seen little tiny leaks that couldn't be found become little fountains that were easy to find when the system was pressurized. You can rent or borrow one from most of the big auto parts chain stores.

John

I agree, also, if you had water in the cylinders you'd bend a rod on start up; water does not compress, but it will bend a connecting rod eye popping smiley

Rick
April 15, 2010 06:11PM
Excellent point. The genesis of this was a broken valve spring not a bad cylinder head. If the head wasn't warped when you took it off (which it probably wasn't) then it isn't warped now.

alan
April 15, 2010 06:20PM
Quote
alanrw
Excellent point. The genesis of this was a broken valve spring not a bad cylinder head. If the head wasn't warped when you took it off (which it probably wasn't) then it isn't warped now.

alan

Quick comment as I recover from an MRI (where they stuck a needed into my hip joint).

Could I not have warped the head my not tightening the bolts correctly? I thought I asked this question and was told that it was quite possible.

But you are all correct, I was loosing ZERO coolant before the entire operation. Which is probably why I don't like losing it now smiling smiley

And as far as me freaking out goes... If you want to hear someone laugh, ask anyone that knows me if I freak out.
I am however quite wordy when it comes to writing, and I'm an analyzer and a "what if" kind of person. so my overabundance of words and detailed thinking could easily be misinterpreted via the internet as freaking out, I understand that.

I'll reply to the rest when I don't feel like my femur is going to explode out of its joint.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
April 15, 2010 10:41PM
Quote
Earendil
Quote
alanrw
Excellent point. The genesis of this was a broken valve spring not a bad cylinder head. If the head wasn't warped when you took it off (which it probably wasn't) then it isn't warped now.

alan

Quick comment as I recover from an MRI (where they stuck a needed into my hip joint).

Could I not have warped the head my not tightening the bolts correctly? I thought I asked this question and was told that it was quite possible.

But you are all correct, I was loosing ZERO coolant before the entire operation. Which is probably why I don't like losing it now smiling smiley

And as far as me freaking out goes... If you want to hear someone laugh, ask anyone that knows me if I freak out.
I am however quite wordy when it comes to writing, and I'm an analyzer and a "what if" kind of person. so my overabundance of words and detailed thinking could easily be misinterpreted via the internet as freaking out, I understand that.

I'll reply to the rest when I don't feel like my femur is going to explode out of its joint.

Yes Tyler, you could have hurt the head if your tightening (when you broke the socket) sequence got upset but I still think pressurizing the system is the best way to go now.

Sorry to hear about that hip thing smileys with beer feel better.

Rick
April 16, 2010 05:30AM
Bend a rod on startup? I don't think so, the starter engine isn't powerful enough.

My previous 318iS had a bad head gasket leak (or cracked head/cylinder), allowing water to settle on top of the piston while cooling down. Either it cranked and ran on 3 cylinders for a couple of seconds, or it didn't crank at all and I had to remove the spark plug to spit out the water (sorry for the ones that parked next to me).
rkj
April 16, 2010 11:15AM
Quote
Michiel 318iS
Bend a rod on startup? I don't think so, the starter engine isn't powerful enough.

My previous 318iS had a bad head gasket leak (or cracked head/cylinder), allowing water to settle on top of the piston while cooling down. Either it cranked and ran on 3 cylinders for a couple of seconds, or it didn't crank at all and I had to remove the spark plug to spit out the water (sorry for the ones that parked next to me).

Oh, yes you can! starter motors have more power than you think.

Rick
April 21, 2010 05:13PM
Nothing really to report. I replaced most of my coolant hoses, but yet another one came loose last night while driving (the PITA small one on the bottom side of the coolant valve housing), so I have been unable to get a handle on how much, if any, coolant is making it past the valves. It's also been stormy and rainy here, which has really dampened my automotive-fixit-motivation.

It has also been running poorly, and setting off the O2 sensor. This time though I believe it's actually the engine that is off, because it smells like it's running rich. So a new cap and rotor will be installed tomorrow night, and I'm going to go see if my backup-used ?(giant capacitor that creates the high voltage is called...)? since two of the terminals on mine came out to 5500ohms instead of the Bentley recommended 5000ohms.
And for the fun of it I'm replacing my spark plugs too. I put new ones in when I did the head, but I have this feeling that I could pull them and not like the way they look due to any number of reasons.

I'm at about 400 miles since the head work.

This weekend, if the car is running well, I'll be driving her 600 miles round trip to Spokane. That should flush out any problems I may have remaining smiling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2010 05:14PM by Earendil.
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