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Thread: They told me E30s were played out

  1. #101
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Some copy paste update over from r3v, just to have a documentation of this turd on here as well.

    I wouldn't rule out something hitting the scraper, it does make sense. Still the question remains - why all of a sudden? Sure, I can drop the pan and check it out, but need to find the root cause. Prematurely and severely worn rod bearing(s) causing the rod(s) to move around? Why would it fail so early and why does the oil pressure stay high despite? Just questions for me to think on.

    Also, there was some new development yesterday eve.

    A friend of mine bought a small LED USB camera and called me immediately, he picked it up in my area. We went ahead and stuffed it into the cylinders and sure enough - valve to piston contact.
    We took the timing covers off and did find the belt to be a bit loose, but the timing marks still line up perfectly. Adjusted the tensioner, belt is now as tight as it should be - marks still line up perfectly good.
    Here comes the weird part. We rotated the nuke to retard the cam about 4 degrees, assembled all the stuff and started the car for about 3 seconds. Noise was LOUDER and now with higher frequency. Returned the nuke gear to zero, started again - a bit better but still there.

    Now the question is - why did this engine cover over 3000 kms without making valve to piston contact and start doing it after a hot oil event? Both things seem to not be connected. Is it possible that the belt stretches under any load, even idling and causing the valve-piston contact, but returning to normal when engine is inop? That seems sci-fi to me, but has anyone encountered that?

    I really don't want to reassemble the engine without finding the cause of this crap.

    Another thing that comes to mind - the woodruf key on the crank sproket potentially could have failed, causing the timing mark to align, but the crank would be on the incorrect position.

    What I intend to do next is rotate the cam gear in the opposite direction, start briefly and if it doesn't knock/rattle, I'll check compression numbers and take it from there. Definitely will check the woodruf key on the crank sprocket, but if anyone has some other pointers, would be happy to read them.

    Disclaimer: No pictures of car, until problems taken care of.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  2. #102

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    Check if the sprocket is lined properly by finding TDC with the old screwdriver-into-plug hole method, if it is and valves contact pistons I'd think you have too tall of cams? Makes no sense tho

    Edit: jammed hydro lifters may be a thing?
    Last edited by Fruttolo; 09-19-2019 at 06:11 AM.

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  3. #103
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    Oct 2011
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    Sofia, Bulgaria
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    It is something to think about, but dbilas claim this is a sports cam, not rally or circuit racing, and hence no additional valve clearance needed. In fact, according to the cam sheet, 1.2mm is the minimum, 2mm is the safe zone. Mine was 2.2mm so .. should be good, but who knows.
    I will check it for a piece of mind though.
    So the list with stuff to check before making any drastic disassembly moves looks like this:

    Check if woodruf key is kaput - either by Fruttolo's suggested method or just take it apart
    Check if belt is stretching - by ... magic I suppose, need to think how I can safely do that.

    IN OTHER NEWS, SOME PLOT TWIST:

    Turns out I didn't retard the engine, but myself.

    Using my memory of yesterday eve and the below link as reference, I was a dumbass and advanced the engine instead of retarding it.

    https://help.summitracing.com/app/an...ing-a-camshaft

    Attached is an image of what I think I did.

    retard.jpg

    Guess joke is on me. Hopefully my stupidity will help someone in the future.

    Will get back to the car and turn the other way to see if that cures it and take it from there.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Oregon, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post

    Disclaimer: No pictures of car, until problems taken care of.

  5. #105
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    Yep, you guessed it - still no pictures, since mystery still not solved.

    I had exactly one month to chase down this devil, here's a recap of what happened:

    First and foremost I did a leakdown test, I had to buy the tool to do it. I did it twice for each cylinder just to be sure. All were below 15% leakage, which I hardly could believe, yet again the engine ran under 5 seconds with the advanced nuke gear. So the test showed all valves are seating good enough.
    Next order of business was taking off the oil pan - what a pain with a scraper and a baffle.
    Oil looked mint, not even the slightest debri in it, when I filtered it through the finest painter's filter.
    No heat discoloration either on rods or crank, no play in any rod or whatever I could reach in there.
    There was e tiny little smidge on the scraper, where a rod bolt had touched it ever so lightly. So small, the camera wouldn't catch it. Ok, so off with the scraper. Assembled everything, poured the oil back in and fired it up. Still clacking, right from the start, same noise again temperature independent but RPM dependent, sounds like only one element is hitting another once per revolution.
    Next up - discovered a tiny play in the crank sprocket, so small it was unnoticable from above the engine, only when the car was on the lift could we spot it.
    From a spare m20 - pristine sprocket with the woodruf key to go with it and the play was gone. Fire it up - same noise.

    Listening at it again reveals the following:
    From above: more pronounced between cyl 2 and 4
    From beneath: more pronounced between cyl 5 and 6, but only if you listen without a screwdriver or similar to the pan. Screwdriver to pan says it's everywhere .....
    Removing the alu cover in front of the trans and below the pan makes the sound more pronounced.
    Flywheel doesn't have any play, but does have some slight oil drippings, that are spread by the centrifugal force starting from the flywheel bolts.

    Now, what I am thinking - since those drippings are on the side, which faces the front of the car, is it possible, that the bolts have backed out and cause this rattle/clatter? I used brand new OEM units and torqued them down to spec, but you never know.
    Otherwise the only thing that comes to mind is go back to the head and check every rocker arm, also warm up the engine and fire it up with the head cover off.

    Any pointers are welcome.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  6. #106

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    Don't start it with no rocker cover or you're gonna wash your car and face in oil LOL
    Flywheel bolts could back out if no locktite is used (happened to me on my freshly rebuilt and torqued to spec mk1 trans) but it would rattle considerably less or at least differently when clutch is depressed, and it's independent from oil drips, that's main seal territory. Does your engine have a separate "rear main seal plate" attached with bolts to the block? If it has, maybe those bolts have backed out slightly causing oil drips and touching the flywheel? Still pretty unusual, just flowing thoughts.

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  7. #107
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    I know it'll be an oil bath, but I'll live with that and clean everything really well after that.
    As stated, OEM flywheel bolts were used, they come with something that does the loctite job, cannot recall the name right now. But you are correct - engaging or disengaging the clutch has no influence on the rattle.
    The m20 does have a separate rear main seal plate and yes I thought about it - stuck a small camera in there and all bolts were where there should be, no marks on the flywheel either.
    Guess I'll have to do a round table with all the m20 gurus I can get in touch with. Which are ... maybe two people.
    I **** this car.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  8. #108
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    Oregon, USA
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    That is too bad about the rattle. I really hope you do find it... cant stand engines that tick, rattle, or knock. Drives me mad. Can't wait to see what it was when you finally find it.

  9. #109
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    Oct 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miroteknik View Post
    That is too bad about the rattle. I really hope you do find it... cant stand engines that tick, rattle, or knock. Drives me mad. Can't wait to see what it was when you finally find it.
    Yes, I am the same! Even if it's an innocent noise, that doesn't threaten to disintegrate the engine, I still chase it down.
    Be sure, I will post when/if I find it and also share what revenge was executed over it.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

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