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Discussion Starter #1
Well, as some of you know......I just rebuilt my SOHC motor last fall after hydro locking the motor and bending the #8 connecting rod. Then, I faught with issues like running rich, oil covered plugs, poor gas mileage, rough idle, and hard starts for about 3-4 months until I finallt got the CAT Dyno Tuned by Lassota Racing (Don and Rob). That's when I found out the tunning that was previously done was way off and I had a bad fuel pressure regulator and a bad 90mm L-MAF. The cat has ran wonderfully ever since the Lassota tune.

Now this last couple of weeks, I've noticed some hesitation hear and there....telling me I needed new plugs......which I was planning on doing this Friday. Well, today (Tuesday) I was driving to my dentist and just before I get to the exit ramp....the CAT felt a little "funny" all of a sudden. When I got to the light at the top of the ramp,
I heard this sound---kinda like a marbles or BB's bouncing around in a tin can---and it took everything I could do to keep her from stalling. The light turns green and I go and the car sputtered alittle, backfired slightly, still had the "tin can" knocking sound, ALOT of spark knock type sounds and didn't have the "UMPH" she had just a few minutes before. So I figured I really needed to do the plugs today. So drive it home, went to the store and got new plugs and brakes all around (needed them too) and got to work.

When I pulled the plugs......I first noticed I NO LONGER have oil getting on the plugs--which is telling me the rich fuel mixture (before the tune) was the problem. I then noticed they are still getting ash deposites on them. SO I figured I'd check the plug wires really quick with my OHM meter set on 20k and this is what I got:
#1= 1.41 to 1.42
#2= 3.05
#3= 2.00
#4= 4.49
#5= 2.58 to 2.59
#6= 2.95
#7= 1.76
#8= 2.45
OK, that may explain the ash deposite---weak wires----so I know I need new wires now too......had to order those.

Now this is where the whole thing goes SOUTH in a hurry. I finished the plugs, finished the brakes, and changed my oil and filter. Out of couriosity, I ran my magnet through the drained oil and found some metal (small pieces) in the oil. Now that I'm really starting to wonder......I cut filter in two and found more metal (really small also) in the filter element on the inside folds (towards the center of the filter element). Now I'm wondering if I have more then just a plug and plug wire problem. I then started the car up to find out....and guess what----that dern "tin can" knocking sound is still there...but the knocks are irregular in rythymn----meaning the knocks aren't evenly spaced. So with the car at idle, I got out my redneck stethescope (screwdriver) and starting proding around to see if I can pin point where the knocks are coming from----and while doing this, the motor ran alittle rough but was shaking pretty good. I ended up pin pointing the location of the knock sounds........which SEEM to be coming from the bell housing / flexplate / TQ / pump area. So now I'm wondering......if it's something in the tranny....how is it affecting my idle???:confused:

I guess this is just another chapter in Curse of the Cougar Saga:
2002: Blown Tranny---$2000 to rebuild.
2003: (Spring) Spider gears let loose in rear end destroying everything but the ring
gear---just under $1500 to replace with FRPP unit plus other parts for
suspension and driveshaft.
2003: (Fall) Hydro-locked motor---$7500 to $9000 to re-build with go fast parts,
forged rotating assembly with stock crank, parts for other system upgrades
(fuel pump, injectors, exhaust, etc).
2004: UNKNOWN problem at this time......symptoms listed above

I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to take her out somewhere and torch her and get some insurance money. :uppoint: Won't do it though....it would be my luck to get caught and charged with Arson to a motor vehicle to comitt insurance fraud.
I work in a prison, so I don't think it would do me any favors to end up living there. *LOL*

Sorry this ended up being alittle on the long side......I just needed to VENT alittle. If anyone had any suggestions as to what my problem might be this time....I'm all ears.
Later all and I'll keep ya all updated.
SLOWRIDE
 

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I don't know how it would affect your idle, but a TC or trans issue can certainly affect your engine. For various reasons, the TC can start hammering the crank. Most often it happens if the TC balloons, but there are other causes: excessive fluid pressure, bad trans stack, etc. This is what Jim found when he tore GB's old engine down:







The first two pix are the thrust bearing (or what's left of it), the third is the munged up Cobra oil pump. When he started tearing the engine down, he saw the damage to the oil pump, then yanked on the crank and there was way too much end play. The crank was "floating" around and hitting the oil pump. Obviously there was metal in my crank case and elsewhere, from the bearing and pump damage.

There were some symptoms, but easily attributable to other things. The oil pressure guage was jumping around. We thought "bad sender", right? Wrong. And Scott said he felt a vibration in the shift handle. Something I didn't even notice, probably because it developed slowly over time.

I'm not sure how you can diagnose this, short of dropping the trans, flexplate, and/or oil pan, but you might try pulling on the damper to see if there is excessive end play in the crank...

I have no idea if this could be your problem, but I'll tell you that you don't want to drive around with a bad thrust bearing, Jim said that I was only a few miles from "total failure." And that's not a good thing.

-mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well.......I'm hoping it's not TOO big of an issue. I'm still recovering from the rebuild and in 2 weeks, I have to start driving 62 miles---one way--to and from work...so not only do I not have the cash for something major.....I don't have time to fix it myself.

The CAT is at the shop now.......let them tell me what's wrong. I'm almost sure it's in the tranny....if not there, then something with the flexplate or rear main.....but I'm wondering what caused the shavings to show up too. Hopefully it isn't all tore up.......or I'll have to park her for now, and get me a $500 beater for the next several months.

I should know more tomorrow. If you happen to see / talk to Dr. Franken Cougie...let him know what's going on too.

Thanks and later.
Slowride
 

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Slowride said:
If you happen to see / talk to Dr. Franken Cougie...let him know what's going on too.

Thanks and later.
Slowride
Will do.. I didn't mean to freak you out, but the shavings in the oil hit a nerve with me based on my experience...

-mike
 

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Sounds like a couple things.... Plug wires are a probable and if not now theyll get ya later....might as well change them anyhow...the recent rebuild woukld explain some small shaveings ... thats why you have that expensive oil filter...Might want to pull the valve covers and see if all your valve springs are intact...Also, a trip into your bellhousing to check status of the flex plate bolts, and tq converter is indicated... might also see what you have in the way of crud in the tranny oil, you can never change out that Mercron V enough!.... good luck
 

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Like Leland said, some metal shaving are normal after a rebuild (even more so a forged build).

When the plugs are ash or white, it's a sign of detonation. Along with the sounds you described, I'll put my money on the motor.

Perhaps you got some bad gas? has the motor been tuned? How hot was the motor when it almost died? Maybe you have a cooling issue.
 

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GreenBird said:
some metal shaving are normal after a rebuild (even more so a forged build).
Checking the trans fluid is a real good suggestion. However, my TC and trans showed no visible signs of wear or destruction, but never-the-less, one or the other or both "conspired" to destroy my thrust bearing...

"Some" is kind of a subjective term. I'd call Jim and tell him how much you see and what HE says is normal for HIS engines.

Is this the first time you've dropped the filter?? If not I would expect that your first filter(s) would have captured most of the initial visible metal. Did you check your first filter, or send it to Jim??

I know Scott plans to run my car briefly and send the filter back to Jim to cut and analyze, and I think again at 500 miles.

A little metal in the oil is no reason to panic, but I'd check with someone who knows how much you should see based on mileage and how often the oil/filter has been changed so far.

The way the car was acting does sound like a engine/tuning thing. I sent Scott a PM, he's home today, he should get it later...

-mike
 

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Also, you might want to send an oil sample to Blackstone Labs, they give you a whole breakdown of whats going on. I have all my vehicles done twice a year.

Steve, on a side note, I'm really sorry to hear about this ****. Hopefully soon I'll roll down to the midwest and hang out with you guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well.........got word from the shop today.......basically, they have no clue what's causing it----I think they're scared of the MOD Motors. The guy said he had a FORD fanatic guy from another shop look at it as well....and that guy said it sounded like a timming issue / valve train issue. So I drove her home to take care of it my self.

GOOD news is----it's not in the tranny. Don't know why it sounded more like the knocking sounds were coming from it....but it's definately NOT the problem. I know for sure because I went ahead and pulled the passenger side valve cover and found the problem. On the #3 cylindar....the dern valve spring BROKE---I think on the exhaust side (with only 11,000 miles on it since the rebuild). Now, is this gonna have to basically be an engine pull to replace or can it be done without removing the head??? I know the front cover would have to be re-moved and stuff....but does the head have to be pulled??? I'd like to do as little tare down as possible because I only have 2 weeks and the car has to be up and running. ANy suggestions would be appreciated!!!

I'm now not quite as conserned about the shavings......I didn't know that there would be some after a re-build. It didn't seem like there was ALOT......and all the pieces were really small. I guess I just got nervous...you know....metal in the oil. normally isn't a good thing...but like I said, I didn't know those are to be expected in a re-build. I'll still talk to Jim and see what he thinks.

As for the plug wires, I knew those needed replaced when I pulled the plugs. With the amount of resistance that's in the wires, they aren't providing enough spark energy, which could explain the white / ash deposites on the plugs. I think I'll be getting a set of MSD or Mallory wires.

Thanks for the help guys. I'll keep ya all posted as much as possible.

Slowride
 

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Slowride,

Your broken valve spring should be a cinch to replace....

The Mod Motor does require a special spring compressor... I think I've seen them for around $55 or so. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned it.... as on the Crown Vic forum they've been using them for years, to replace the funky valve seals... (smoking while idling problem...excessive use of oil etc)

You will need to pressurize the cylinder with compressed air, then you can pop the keepers out (DON'T DROP THEM!) (long magnet thing works great!) and slip a new spring in and put it all back together!

You're already almost there if you have the darned valve cover off!!!!

Good detective work!
Steve
 

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If you have all the pieces of the spring, you may be as deep as you have to go to replace the one spring. Obviously if some of it is missing, you need to find it, so pulling the head may be neccessary to check the cylinders and dropping the pan to check the crankcase.

However, there is a bad batch of Mod Max springs out there and several guys have been bitten (talk to Chadg about that). Jim knows the story. So I would seriously consider pulling the heads, send them to Jim and get a new set of Compcams springs swapped in. While the heads are off you can check the pistons, cyliders and combustion chambers for possible damage.

The problem with that scenario is whether Jim can get the heads back to you in 2 weeks.. He is really busy right now.. Talk to him, he'll tell you what to do. If you send the heads to him, you can put the filter in a ziplock and let him look at the metal in the oil, too... 11,000 mi, you must've change the filter at least 2-3 times before now (I hope).. at some point the "new engine" metal should stop showing up in the oil..

Keep us advised..

-mike
 

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Yup she be broken. :D Yup your right it feels like just yesterday we were in that garage putting the engine back in the car Steve.



later,
Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I'll talk to Jim Saturday to check and see if there's anything else I need to worry about and to see bout getting one replacement spring---I'm not wanting to replace all of them...at least not right now with everything else I've got going on---Spidey knows that story. I've already got the valve cover seals and front cover seals ordered....should be in Tuesday next week. All I need now is a new spring and that spring compressor. Speaking of which....where can I get the spring compressor or where the Crown Vic forum at so I can mosey over there and find out??

Well, that's where I'm at right now. I'm not gonna get too serious in the tare down process until I know the parts and spring compressor are on their way, don't want to motor all "open" to dirt and dust and stuff any longer than neccessary.

Later
Steve
 

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From Scott...


When a spring goes this is what happens to the piston.

You've probably seen this one before, too.. but just a reminder.

Talk to Jim...

-mike
 

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Slowride said:
And what a reminder it is !!!!!! You aren't trying to freak me out again are ya?? *LOL*
Just preparing you in case... I have my fingers crossed that you lucked out and all is well deep inside...

I'll say it again... one way or another, it'll all work out..

-mike
 

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Maaaannnnnnnnn That better not even be the case... Then we do have to pull the engine....... again, and no steve, I will not let you torch it!:D

later,
jay
 

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Discussion Starter #18
*LOL* WHy not Spidey??? I knew what you was doing too Goldbird. *LOL*

BTW.....talked to Jim. He's helping me out BIG TIME!!! Since Mod Max springs are no longer made....and the problems that everyone has had with them....Jim highly recomended changing all of them. So...I now have a set of COMP CAMS springs coming (and he's helping out on that because I'm a Mod Max victim) and the necessary tools coming (borrowed) to swap everything out and NOT have to even remove the cams. The only thing I need to remove are the valve covers....everything else will stay in place. And everything will be here by Tues. or Wed. next week.

I tell you what......anyone who is doing a re-build and / or doing any head work and is looking for a shop to do it.....Jim / Renegade Racing is the place to go. Jim stands behind his work....even behind the parts he uses.....even when the manufacturers won't !!!!!!!! And if something goes wrong.....Jim does what he can to help. If you ask me.....he went above and beyond the call of duty this time !!!!!!!!

AS for any other damage that may have been caused by the spring breakage...we think I'm ok. As long as all the pieces of the spring are up top....and my pressure test on the #3 cylindar (where the spring broke) is ok.........then I should be in the clear. If the pressure isn't up to par on that cylindar....then I have a bent valve....but since the valve didn't drop too far when the spring broke...I should be ok there. I'm not out of the woods yet......but things certainly look brighter than they did just a couple of days ago.

Keep ya all updated. Wish me luck !!!!

Slowride
(Steve)
 

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96 GoldBird said:
I'll say it again... one way or another, it'll all work out..

-mike
I told ya so... Jim's the man... He just really cares..

-mike
 
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