Project AE86: Heart Surgery

So with two bad motors, one worse then the other one. Sometimes life just hits you with more issues then joys. I don’t let the problems get to me, instead I really try to learn what I can do to get out of this problem and focus on the goal. Which is get my 86 running, so I can compete in NASA time trails and DE track days.

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I was thinking, maybe I can have the machine shop do a refresh on the motor. After all, the compressions did improve a lot after adding a tiny bit oil. She might just need rings and thats it. After getting a estimate for $1750 for a complete engine rebuild as a worst case scenario, that would have been too much money. The machinist did offer another option. I dissemble the motor and bring it in pieces, then it would be much cheaper. Doing that kind of work is something I have never done.

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I was able to find a PDF manual on the 4age motor, and after reading several pages on the engine section, I figured it was a doable thing. I took my chances and started to teardown the motor.

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One thing I have learned it there is always a sequence to properly loosen or tighten a part. If you don’t follow it properly, then you risk breaking something expensive.

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I made sure I took lots of pictures before taking out a part, and to be neat and tidy. Going to take the head to machine and hopefully nothing too expensive to replace. I did notice scoring on the intake camshaft, but Ill try to use the intake cam on the small port and see if that will do. Only the machine will let know if the head is good or not.

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Removing the head wants bad and I even made a youtube vid on it:

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Have the short block exposed I can see my pistons looked tired with all the carbon deposits. I noticed the very top of the cylinder walls had some gunk or rust. Im thinking because the motor was sitting for soo long, but this motor looks like it can be saved.

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Most likely the motor will need new rings and at least a hone. Not too expensive thankfully. Now to disassemble the short block.

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Pulled off the pan and no metal shavings noted. This youtube video helped figured out how to disassemble the block.

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The 4AGE manual helped a lot, showing the proper sequence on how to remove a the crankshaft and pistons.

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All taken out in one day! I made sure to label and mark which side is towards the front of the motor.

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This motor was probably spending most its life in the higher RPMs. The block looks fine and no obvious signs of overheating thankfully!

The main bearings look pretty good! Some wear, but my M3 looked way worse and that had only 50k miles.

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Rod bearings look good too. No damage, just worn. Im thinking it’ll needs rings, and bearings. Another interesting find, is my big port 4AGE is an early model. I have have the 7 rib block but no oil squirters, and the part number on the piston and rod are from a blue top 4age. That means my internals are lighter then the later model 7rib block. If I was going boost I would worry, but since Im not going that route. I think this motor would rev up much quicker.

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All dissembled and ready for the machine shop. Let see what they. Stay tuned.

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Project AE86: Engine Woes

I pulled out my old 16v 4age, and was my first time doing so. I was nervous, but thankfully being a track car, there wasnt alot to disconnect or unbolt. The tuner that made my engine harness (R.N.R. Autosport) had all the wires labeled, and that helped a lot.

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Rust in the coolant lines. That isn’t a good thing, but I was told you can still run the car just fine with it. Kind of a bummer though.

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Pulled out the motor in less then an hour!!! My neighbors didn’t even notice.

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Next before I start to swap the the parts out, I had to do a compression test. Learned my lesson from the other motor. Even though it ran, it doesn’t mean the motor was healthy.

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We proceeded to to separate the the transmission from the motor and mate it to the newly acquired large port 16v 4AGE. The reason why we did that is because you have to crank the motor with the starter to do an accurate compression test. Just hand cranking the motor for the compression test wont be accurate, and you can’t use an impact gun on the crankshaft because you will risk breaking something.

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All you need to crank a motor when its outside of the car is a starter, something to mount the starter to, and the flywheel.

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The clutch is in good shape.

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The transmission looks like I need to replace the seals. Old cars, simple to work on but if they haven’t been maintained well, they require lots of hour and money to get back to it former glory.

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We swapped over the transmission and proceeded to do the compression test!! If you not so sure how to do this, here is a video that helped me:

We did the compression test and wasn’t that great. We did add a tiny bit of oil did help with the compression, but that means the piston rings are probably worn. If I put this motor in the current condition, their might be a possibility that the motor will burn oil and smoke. Now Im just thinking, no what 4age motor I put in here they all need a rebuild since they are getting old.

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Well that leads me to other issue, how do I rebuild a motor? More on the next post.