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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Phase I:

Yesterday evening I got to the point of turning the key, and I just heard the starter spinning; which was annoying. Got a new starter this morning, threw it in and…

[BBvideo 560,340:1gxoj0vj]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pTbmI_tUtg[/BBvideo]

Its ALIVE!!! Just need to get all the ancillary stuff bolted back up (exhaust, drivelines, ect.) and it'll be on the road!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Phase I:

The issue with the clutch pedal having no pressure was resolved by using a pressure bleeder. Once that was hooked up, pedal popped right up and held no problem. Reinforcing the idea that sometimes you just need the right tool for the job!





Now that I had a functional clutch, it was time to get the Trooper on the road again for the first time since August! I needed to get 30 minutes of varied RPM's in with it full of the break in oil, so I pulled it out for some loops around the neighborhood. I didn't romp on it, but it ran great. Good power from low to medium RPM's and it felt butter smooth.

About 15 minutes into the run, I started to hear chattering. I got it back to the house, popped the hood, and yup! Bad valve train chattering on the driver side bank. I figured that this was debris from the rebuild caught in an oil channel. So I drained the break in oil, which was dirty and filled it up with some full synthetic. Started it back up… no change. Still chattering like crazy. I let it run for a bit, hoping that it'd clear up, but it didn't.

I stepped back for a bit (mainly because, ya know, I didn't want to nuke the car from space quite yet). After about an hour I pulled out the old mechanics stethoscope to try and get a better idea of what the noise was and where it was coming from. When I fired up the car; no chattering. Gone. I let it run for about half an hour and it was smooth. So, oil must have done what oil is supposed to do; get into everything. The lifters must have gotten properly lubricated and the debris has cycled out. I've run it about an hour now and the chatter has not returned. I'll run it about 100 miles, then change the oil again. But thus far I'm cautiously optimistic that everything is functioning normally!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Phase I:

Continuing the theme of "nothing goes quite as planned", I was driving it around this afternoon and started to hear an odd rotational noise. Not from the engine; but more like a driveshaft maybe. Pulled it back into the driveway, crawled underneath to take a look and what do I see? Leaking coolant. So while I was concerned about the rotational noise, suddenly that became a priority. Looks like its leaking from one of the hoses on the back of the engine. Of course. So I'll have to take the plenum off to get to it and check the connections, but I'm willing to bet money it's the one hose I chose to use the original clamp rather than replacing it. Annoying and time consuming, but not the end of the world.

I went back to check on the rotational noise, and it's weird. The output shaft from the back of the T-Case (which is part of the transmission) has a fair amount of play in it; but not so much that I'd generally be concerned. Also, I didn't do anything with the transmission and I've never noticed an issue before. I put it up on jack stands and had my dad run it through the gears. No noticeable noise in 1st, some in second, and progressively more the higher the gears. Almost a grinding noise, but not quite. Now, I did pressure wash the transmission while I had it out, so some water could have gotten in. I was already planning on replacing the oil, just hadn't gotten to it yet. So I'll do that first, but I just can't see how the slight amount of water that could have gotten in would cause this? I was pretty careful when I washed it to avoid the areas where the breathers and the shifters went in, but I guess some likely still got in. Anyone have any other thoughts? Again, no issues before I pulled the engine at the end of August, nothing changed between then and now. Just odd.
 

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I would take a look at the u-joints and the carrier bearing first. I had a noise like that on my Spacecab and I pulled the boot on the shifter to get a better way to hear it. I did have a bad u-joint, but ended up swapping out the trans as it was making noise too. That solved my problem. That said I have a completely different drive train than you also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
hessmess said:
I would take a look at the u-joints and the carrier bearing first. I had a noise like that on my Spacecab and I pulled the boot on the shifter to get a better way to hear it. I did have a bad u-joint, but ended up swapping out the trans as it was making noise too. That solved my problem. That said I have a completely different drive train than you also.
U-Joints are solid. I'll check out the carrier bearing if the oil change makes no difference thought. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Phase I:

The later part of Phase I should probably be titled "The Wonders of Oil!" and have a 1950's style narration.

My dad was kind enough to come over today while I was at work and replace the oil in the transmission and transfer case. The oil that came out of the tranny was fine. Amber in color and clean. The t-case though…



Yeah, that's some water there! Again, probably got in when I pressure washed it, and likely through the holes for the shifters, despite my best effort to tape them off. Anyway, he filled the oil back up with fresh stuff and voila! No more noises! Oil… It's a hell of a fluid!

So at this point, I need to get the very slight leak due to the hose on the back of the engine fixed. That'll be Saturday, and I'm going to start driving it daily tomorrow to break it in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Phase I:

The valve train chattering is not going away. I've changed the oil twice now in 100 miles; each time there was debris in the oil in the form of shiny dust particles. The chatter is not consistent, either. Some days it won't chatter at all, others as soon as it warms up it starts chattering. Once it starts chattering, it will continue to after consistent restarts. But, if it sits for a bit (20 minutes or so) sometimes the chattering will go away. Sometimes it won't.

Its either still debris clogging passages; which will REALLY annoy me that the machine shop didn't do a better job polishing the cylinders after they did their work. Or there is a faulty lifter. The inconsistency of it really makes me think it's blockage, which would be nice. But unfortunately I'm sort of at the end of my diagnosis skill's beyond beginning to tear it down again. The machine shop has a warranty on their work but when I talked to them last week they were surprised the hear that I was having an issue and kinda just said, "well, run it for a while longer and see if it goes away". Not really encouraging.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Ok, further thoughts. What if it were related to RPM's? This morning I had no tick for 30 minutes or so of driving, but then I got on the freeway and hit 5k for a bit and the ticking was there when I got off the freeway and could hear. Went out and started it up a minute ago, let it warm up and then revved it to 5k; ticking started. Nothing conclusive, I'll need to see if it happens again; but do any of you more mechanically inclined folks think that points to anything?
 

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While I can't help on the diagnosis, I have no experience with your particular engine. I hope you get it figured out soon. I am having problems on my Spacecab I don't seem to be able to figure out either. I will get it in time. Keep up the fight!
 
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Phase I:

After determining that the tick always seemed to begin when the engine hit 5k for a few seconds, it made it easier to go to the machine shop and tell them that I was confident that it was a lifter. I spoke with them this morning and relayed my most recent information and they said they'd get back to me. After a few hours they called me and said there was a technical bulletin regarding this engines lifters and them collapsing. So they had me bring it down and as soon as they came out and listened it was, "Yep, that's a lifter all right. Leave it with us and we'll take care of it."

So, its with them and hopefully in the next day or so I'll get it back tick free!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Phase I:

Well, the machine shop has determined that it is not a lifter. They suspect that it is the cam chain tensioner. I'm a bit suspicious of that diagnosis for two reasons. First, this is one part that they did not replace because it wasn't in the rebuild kit. They had told me that they looked good to them, so I gave them the go ahead to use the OEM parts; thus making it easy for them to say, "Hey, it's not under warranty because you told us to use the original parts." I guess foolish on my part, but I trusted their judgment. Second, I would think that a broken tensioner would rattle rather than tick. And without pulling stuff apart, then how can they be sure.
Now, I can't tell if the tensioner is hydraulic. If it is, then I guess that it might suffer from a similar situation to the theory about the lifter; where I hit 5k, it over pressurizes and then loses tension. The ticking does seem to be less when the oil pressure is up and worse when it is low. I suppose that could also indicate that the tensioner has issues? But, if the tensioner is not hydraulic, then one would think that it would make noise constantly. And I'm really not having much luck finding information about the tensioner.

Anyone have any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Phase I:

I was able to get a new tensioner from Jerry and with the holiday behind us, got to throw it in last night. The original tensioner was clearly jammed in one position. I pulled it apart and cleaned it up and now it seems to work; which to me indicates that it was probably gummed up with debris. But rather than use the old part, I threw the new one in.



In addition to chain tensioner, I checked all the cam cap bolts to ensure they were torqued properly, and four of them were not. One was only hand tight! I don't want to bad mouth the machine shop too much, because I've done business with them in the past and never had an issue and they've been nice and helpful with trying to diagnosis this issue; but I've kinda lost confidence and I doubt that I'd go back to them again sadly.

I also pulled off the passenger side valve cover to check those cams, they were good. I then got everything buttoned back up, hopefully took care of the leak I was experiencing as well, and fired it up. I tried to get it to tick again, but thus far nothing. I also adjusted the throttle a bit and the response is way better. With the new chain tensioner in I was willing to really get on it finally and WOW, I can definitely tell that I have way more power than I used to! Let's just say that triple digits was doable before with a good run. Now, I got there in a pretty short distance with pedal to spare in 5th.

I'm going to hold off saying that this issue is resolved until I've put a couple hundred miles on it; but I'm really looking forward to Phase I being done! This is the heavy lifting, very frustrating phase. Phase's II and III are the fun stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Phase I:

I've put around 250 miles on the clock since replacing the cam chain tensioner and the ticking noise is gone! So happy about that. But, one issue is resolved, another crops up. I am now experiencing an issue with hard starting. Happens whether it is warm or cold; but it can really struggle to start, like its starved for fuel. I checked the pressure regulator, and it holds vacuum fine. I put a pressure tester on the fuel line and it gets to spec (41psi) and then slowly drops. This is consistent with a bad check valve; which of course is part of the pump assembly. Also explains why its really hard to start in the morning, but coming out of the store it only struggles for a moment.
I have found that if I prime the line by turning the key to get the pump going, but not starting three times and then cranking it seems to start OK. But that obviously is not a long term solution. I've got a few more tests to run on sensors and I'm going to replace the pressure regulator to make sure; but I have a sinking suspicion it's that check valve. Time to start lubing up those tank mount bolts... goodie!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Phase I:

Last Thursday I went hunting for why I was having such a hard time starting the Trooper. Step one was to pull the plugs; and what did I find? Coolant in four of the six cylinders! Oh, boy… This also explains why when I'd start it on these cold days my exhaust condensation plume was so big. I hadn't really thought much of it because just like normal, once the engine warmed up a bit, it'd go away. BUT, this also suggests that this is not a blown head gasket situation, but rather something worse. Like the head bolts were not properly torqued by the machine shop, or that the head is warped. Now, in the ~600 miles that I've run the engine since reinstalling it, it's never overheated and one would assume that if the heads were warped, I'd have noticed this pretty much right away (also, I'd like to think that the shop would have checked that) so I'm leaning toward the torque issue because that makes the most sense. If it were blown gaskets, I'd be seeing white smoke all the time. Also, the probability of BOTH gaskets going out at the same time is slim. With the bolts not being torqued, when the engine is cool, gaps form and coolant leaks in, when it heats up, it expands and closes the gaps and everything "seems" to be running normal again.

I spoke with the machine shop right away, to their credit thus far they are accepting responsibility. Supposedly today they will be letting me know what auto shop that they want me to take it to for the repair work to be done (they repeatedly have told me that they are machinists, not mechanics). As one can assume, I'm really not happy with their work. But as long as they make it right, we'll be square.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Phase I:

I got the Trooper back yesterday afternoon from the shop and here was the verdict: the head bolts had not been torqued properly! The machine shop agreed that it was their fault, so they covered the repair. So while I'm not terribly happy with their work, at least they are acting like stand up people and I can respect that.

Since it's the dead of winter, I don't have much planned as far as working on it at the moment. I'll be daily driving it and making sure that everything runs right; but that's about it until it warms up (is it spring yet?).
 

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I hear you. I'm ready for it to get warmer. I have a list of things to button up before I feel comfortable with the Amigo but the weather discourages me. Glad to hear you got your head bolts figured out.
 
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