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  #21  
Old 05-11-2013, 01:03 AM
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Sounds like a bad situation for everyone, but mostly you. Another reason I do everything I can myself. At least if I eff it up, I know whose fault it is.

What are the odds your engine just happened to go bad under their care through no fault of theirs? 1/10000 maybe? Smart money says they screwed something up. I find it really hard to believe your 320 hour engine just happened to go while at their shop. It's crazy that they are charging you by the hour to diagnose it. I would raise hell and do my best to pay them nothing, and my boat would never see that place again unless they fixed everything on their dollar.
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  #22  
Old 05-11-2013, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jdl xstar View Post
I took my boat in to my local Mastercrfat dealership for a regular oil change, replace spark plugs and to get some cosmetic work done. The Dealership tells me it sounded fine when it got there, but after they replaced the plugs, they fired it up and heard an unsettling clicking noise in the engine and they have spent the past 6 weeks trying to diagnose it to no avail.

Next step is to remove the engine so they can get to the underside and remove oil pan etc.

Any thoughts or suggestions I could relay to the dealership. This situation is costing me SERIOUS cash and time on the water and this money so far has all gone to trying to diagnose and not to fix. Engine has 320 hrs I think.
You could go to a local auto parts store (or Harbor Freight, for that matter) and buy a "mechanic's stethoscope" to give them- it makes finding odd noises a lot easier. Old-time mechanics used a long screwdriver- they would place the tip on the engine in an area where they suspected the noise's location and put the handle to their chin or skull- the sound comes in through bone conduction.

They pulled the heads and found nothing, even though the noise started when they had the boat? Sounds like they had a slow winter for service work, to me. If they pull the engine and find nothing, how much will they charge you? Did you hear the ticking? How loud was it?

I would want to be there when the oil pan comes off.

Get ready- it's not going to be pretty when this is over- they need to justify their time and give some dam good reasons for tearing the engine down, IMO. If this ticking sound started after replacing the plugs, look at the old ones for problems. I did an oil change on a Maristar with LT-1 and noticed that it was running rough- turns out that it lost the center electrode from one plug and when it exited the cylinder, it was pinched between the valve and valve seat, causing the stem to bend. This happened before we got to the boat, though.
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  #23  
Old 05-11-2013, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bzettler83 View Post
You have to wonder if they ran the engine with no oil by mistake, and only realized it after it was too late.

I worked at a shop for a while and had a guy run an engine to bring it to temp and check the level, it took about 5 minutes to realize there was a problem.
You're familiar with the Desert Proving Ground in Mesa, right? They used to do destructive testing there and one thing they would do is run cars without coolant or oil to see how long they would last before a catastrophic failure occurred. A friend of mine worked there, in V8 Powertrain Development and one of the cars they tested was a Cavalier- no oil, ran it on their 5 miles track. It lasted 250 miles. 5 minutes won't kill an engine when it's idling if it ran shortly before- the remaining oil film is enough to last 5 minutes if it's not under load. I wouldn't recommend it, but this has been tested.
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  #24  
Old 05-14-2013, 09:59 AM
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Despite them telling me it would have been pulled over the weekend, they are doing it today which works out ok since I am off work today so i will drive down and watch this process and take some pictures which I'm sure will be interesting. Jim, thanks for the points and I will be sure to press them on these issues, particularly as it pertains to justifying some hefty shop fees.

If I'm not mistaken, he told me the engine pull and re install would be about 4 hours @ $130/hr. I'll find out for sure today but I know it is over $100 and under $150/hr. Any repair would be extra. The whole thing blows thats for sure.
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  #25  
Old 05-14-2013, 03:55 PM
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Still doesn't make sense they pulled the heads. That's just dumb. Nothing you can't see or tell with a comp test and a bore scope. He'll you could buy all the tools for the cost of one top end job!
I'd suggest you take someone with you that knows engines if you're not very well read.
Something stinks here.
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  #26  
Old 05-14-2013, 05:01 PM
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Still doesn't make sense they pulled the heads. That's just dumb. Nothing you can't see or tell with a comp test and a bore scope. He'll you could buy all the tools for the cost of one top end job!
I'd suggest you take someone with you that knows engines if you're not very well read.
Something stinks here.
Just got back from the dealership and I feel mildly better since everyone there knows this is taking too long to diagnose. If it isn't ready by memorial day weekend, they said they'd give me a loaner MC so I'm glad i wont be high and dry that weekend at least.

They removed the engine while I was there and was in process of removing the oil pan to examine the piston rods. They should know by tomorrow if any of those rods are the culprit. It was good to see something being done at least and it was good to talk to the manager who will be hands on during this process.

Some pictures of how the engine looks in its current state:
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What I dream my engine looked like:

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  #27  
Old 05-16-2013, 08:45 AM
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Update... After they removed the oil pan, they believe the problem is that at least one rod bearing is spinning and it would be easier to replace the long block than to repair. I am going ot get a second opionion from a mechanic on this. Are Rod bearings that hard to replace or fix?
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  #28  
Old 05-16-2013, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jdl xstar View Post
Update... After they removed the oil pan, they believe the problem is that at least one rod bearing is spinning and it would be easier to replace the long block than to repair. I am going ot get a second opionion from a mechanic on this. Are Rod bearings that hard to replace or fix?
Have them scan the ECM, to look for overheat events- when I was trained, they told us the ECM stores this for 300 key ON/OFF cycles. Rod bearings don't spin without a good cause.

They "believe" the problem is a spinning rod bearing? I would prefer that they know this.
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  #29  
Old 05-16-2013, 10:14 AM
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easier maybe... isnt just saying f it and replacing it always the easiest option?

less expensive... i've got to think it would have to be going down the repair route. you'll spend a fortune getting a new L18 long block.
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  #30  
Old 05-16-2013, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by JimN View Post
Have them scan the ECM, to look for overheat events- when I was trained, they told us the ECM stores this for 300 key ON/OFF cycles. Rod bearings don't spin without a good cause.

They "believe" the problem is a spinning rod bearing? I would prefer that they know this.
I agree with the preference of "knowing" vs "thinking". I will ask them what they are seeing to know this is the problem. ECM scan sounds interesting. I'd love to see the data on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willyt View Post
easier maybe... isnt just saying f it and replacing it always the easiest option?

less expensive... i've got to think it would have to be going down the repair route. you'll spend a fortune getting a new L18 long block.
From what I'm learning, it's just prudent to replace all the rod bearings and the crank shaft since if a rod bearing was indeed slipping, there would be damage to the crank shaft as well. And with the precision machine work that would need to be done to repair and replace these parts, it might just be better to replace the whole block. Plus, with a replacement, I can at least get a reasonable warranty. Either way its going to be ugly cost-wise so perhaps for another $1k I can get a rebuilt engien w/ warranty. I'm going to guess this whole process will be $7k when all said and done.

Note to self in future.. buy an extended engine warranty whenever possible.
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