Friday, November 1, 2013

What is wrong with this picture?

So I received some 'interesting' news today from Ellis.
They had installed the new Transmission Cooler (woohoo!) and swapped out all the valvetrain bits.
The old lifters and old cam were banged up pretty bad which should've explained the knocking/tapping noises.. Only problem was... It didn't.. After Ellis got all the new stuff in there was STILL a instantly turned everything off, double checked everything.. nothing obvious.. F*CK! My reaction was basically like this..
What do you mean 'it still makes knocking noises'?!?!!!

So... How to move forward? I was frustrated beyond belief but I knew I couldn't drive around like this either.. They had pulled the pan and found some brass shavings in the oil-pan so I knew something somewhere was being chewed up, so I gave Ellis the go-ahead to just pull the whole engine out and figure out once-and-for-all where the hell this problem was coming from.

So after a few more weeks of waiting (Ellis apparently does have 'other' customers... probably ones that don't call him everyday asking how far along he is..) Ellis had some observations he shared..After some thinking on my end I suddenly had a light-bulb moment , and it wasn't a good one...

Now let's play: "What is wrong with this picture!" ...Here we go....let's compare the following:
LS Engine being bored/honed by a professional shop

My Engine being working on by "Bud's Machine Shop"

And let's look at another couple of pictures..
Again some other shoping working on an engine
And Again (this time for apparently a Honda engine)

And again...a Pro-Shop doing work..

Now let's take a look at yet another picture of my engine being worked on..
My engine being bored/honed by "Bud's Machine Shop"
Now.. Notice anything different between these pictures? (besides the fact they didn't use a fancy CNC machine on mine..) anyone? NO PLATES! what Ellis had found was basically a not-so-nice egg-shaped/out-of-round,and most likely over-bored way too much for the pistons(only 4.005"s), Cylinder #1 (and others were almost as bad) with really weird wear/uneven patterns.. I'd like to compare those to ones I found in an interesting manual (see link below) just for my personal understanding, but from I've gathered so far: Especially on Aluminum LS Engines you basically NEED to install deckplates when honing etc to ensure a solid round. This would mimic having the heads installed which can cause some 'cylinder bore distortion'. I have a link to an interesting read on this at the end. But apparently as shown by the photos, the machine shop never bothered to do this...

So in the end - the same shop that caused my spun cam bearings did a crap job on the actual boring etc, so much so that I was basically having continual MAJOR piston slap.. Now looking back it all makes sense - how my knocking would be way worse when cold and just damn annoying when hot, how my car was always so much louder than anyone elses etc etc.. so once again.. thanks for nothing there Machine Shop!

So with the rotating assembly and block damaged - The labor & machining cost to fix it yet again it would be insane for an engine where I've had nothing but trouble with so I'm not sure how to move forward.. 3 options seem possible

a) Ditch the car - without an engine...
b) FIX the current engine (which obviously has been cursed or something)
c) Get a NEW shortblock..

I'm seriously considering A if I can get my payoff amount covered, but based on a quick look at what people are asking/getting for their G8s that does NOT look good..

Anyway...As mentioned: Some interesting reading for those who are looking for some night-time reading

Cylinder Bore Distortion:

Piston Damage:

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