I like the air hammer idea future reference. Eliminates the personal risk factor while swinging a hammer
Day 8: An unwelcome surprise during teardown.
Tool photos of the passenger side cylinder bank (Cylinders 1,3,5) and associated pistons. Everything looks pretty normal to my amateur eyes. Still cross hatching in the cylinders, no score marks or ring lips at TDC. Decided to take a “mirror image” photo to more easily compare each cylinder to head combo.
Now for the driver’s side piston and head combo (Cylinders 2,4,6):
Yikes! I was not expecting to see water in those cylinders! The #2 cylinder with the known head gasket coolant leak was already indicted as I witnessed coolant dripping into that cylinder when I did a pressurized coolant system test and an endoscope. I saw NO evidence of coolant in #4 and #6 during the same pressurized test. I must have gotten water into the cylinders somehow while I was flushing the coolant system a couple of days ago before starting the head removal process (after I pulled the engine). Why did I flush the coolant system one might ask? I wanted to get as much of the “Stop Leak” metal flakes out of the system that I could and make sure my manifold return pipe joints were not leaking. I used a 10 psi low flow sprinkler regulator on the end of a garden hose while flushing so I would not accidentally put a lot of water pressure in the system. It seemed like a good idea to flush the block before doing the rest of the engine teardown.
The intake manifold was off so maybe I had some leakage from one of the coolant hose fittings through the intake valves. It was clear the water had not been there long as there was no real evidence of long term pooling that I could see. I carefully removed all the water from the cylinders ,cleaned and oiled them. There is no water that I can tell in the crankcase as the oil in the crankcase looks good. I intentionally left the oil in the crankcase until I need to
I removed the water pump and vacuumed out as much of the water I could from the block. The water pump seal was definitely leaking based on gunk accumulated on the weep hole. As far as that goes, the cooling jacket passageways around the cylinders all look a little sketch to me but that may be more normal than I realize.
Planned Next Steps:
1. Remove the camshaft and rocket arm assemblies and send the heads to the machine shop for valve leak check, potential head crack inspection and resurfacing for head gasket.
minor issue: I can’t seem to figure out how the camshaft sprocket comes off the camshaft. Is it somehow pressed on to the camshaft? I don’t want to damage the sprocket. Is there a trick to getting these off?
2. Regarding the block. I’m not totally sure what I should do so I welcome any advice from the forum! My initial thoughts are to drain the oil. Remove the oil pan. Visually inspect the piston rods, bearings, etc. I was also thinking about tearing the oil pump apart , inspecting for wear and repair/ replace if it looks bad? The truck had good oil pressure while it was running so it would be more of a PM step. I was also planning on inspecting the block decks for flatness after cleaning the gasket surfaces. Is it a good practice to resurface the block decks since I’m doing the heads? I want to do work that is not necessary but also want to do what makes sense while it’s apart. Given that the engine had a known head gasket leak, I’m just assuming that it overheated at some point with one of the previous owners causing the head gasket leak but that’s just a guess.
Given the number of cooling pipe hoses and fittings on the 3.2L V6, it’s not surprising that coolant leaks and overheating is an issue!
Day 12: Pulling the oil pan and bottom end inspection.
I was dreading separating the oil pan from the block based on the RTV bead protruding out the joint but it turned out to be no big deal. It came off easily and didn’t have much RTV on the surfaces as I thought it would not sure why the PO choice not to use a gasket on the oil pan but that’s easily corrected.
used a plastic putty knife and my shop vac held in close proximity to keep the little pieces from falling into the block.
The oil pan is in good condition and seems pretty straight so that’s encouraging.
It’s hard to get a good pic because the oil pump assembly blocks the view but the bottom portions of the cylinders all look good. Since my oil pressure was good before the teardown, I’m inclined to leave well enough alone and not tear into the bottom end. Any other thoughts?
1.Disassemble the heads and keep the sprocket attached to the camshafts , since I can’t figure out how to remove the sprocket.
2. Have the heads inspected by a local Automotivie machine shop that will check the valves for sealing , look for cracks and most likely resurface the heads
I would at least crack open the mains and see if they look good. Plasti-gauge Green to check clearances. I'd also check the rod bearings, it's a heck of a lot easier to do this now rather than later!
If the bearings look perfect, check clearances & away you go.
I looked on Rockauto and standard main & conn rod bearings are still available & quite inexpensive.
If you weren't burning any oil before, compression readings were good, cylinders look good with little wear (i.e. good cross-hatches and little to no ridge at the top), you might consider leaving it be.
Anything questionable and I'd take it down for inspection, do a glaze-busting on the cylinders with a ball hone, scrub-a-dub the block and re-ring it.
You can do rings, rod bearings, and main bearings for around $82 + tax & shipping. Just something to consider.
Day 14: Cylinder heads torn down and sent off to machine shop. No real issues with removing the camshafts and rocker mechanisms for intake and exhaust valves other than the smell. A very definitive burnt oil smell when removing the bolts .
1. Disassembly and inspection of main crankshaft and connecting rod bearings
2. Clean up the block cylinder head deck surfaces
3. Clean the block coolant passages.
4. Clean and inspect the camshafts and rocker arm assemblies
4. General part cleaning