Author Topic: Well any suggestions from my experts?  (Read 2609 times)

rickmuzick

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Well any suggestions from my experts?
« on: 10 May 2006, 05:29 PM »
Hey guy's it is looking as though my great solid buy of a 450SEL on e-bay is turning into a nightmare.

I sent her to the shop (Errols autobahn here in Nashville) and as it turns out I have a dead miss with zero compression on number 2 and 4.

They are telling me several thousand in either labor and re-build or replacement (used) motor.

As I am rather completely non-versed in engine rebuilding, what exactly am I looking at with two dead cylinders?

Open to any suggestions anyone may have.

oscar

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Re: Well any suggestions from my experts?
« Reply #1 on: 10 May 2006, 06:13 PM »
Whoa, step back a little.    More info needed.

The last I read was about water in the electronics from the carwash.  Was the engine running smoothly when you drove into the carwash and how's it been running lately?  Did the engine feel unbalanced or was it coughing?  I find it hard to believe that those two cylinders went from running to ZERO compression without some catastrophic failure of the pistons?  How was it driving when you went to Errol's?

Sorry for all the Q's but what happened?? What eventuated that led you to take it to Errol's?
1973 350SE, my first & fave

rickmuzick

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Re: Well any suggestions from my experts?
« Reply #2 on: 10 May 2006, 06:32 PM »
Hey Oscar...

   Sorry about that.
   Yes you were correct on the water and carwash issue.

   The car ran fine, beautifully in fact from Phoenix (where I picked it up) all the way to Nashville. By the time I got her here it was running rich and would not pass emmission's. I took it to the shop (same one referenced above) and they adjusted the fuel mixture for me and I took it to be tested. It was putting out 8000ppm in hCl which is 7700ppm more than acceptable in Tennessee.

   So I went to Meineke and replaced the CAT because of not knowing how long it had been running rich, I assumed the CAT had burned through. Took it back to emmission's testing and it is now about 5500ppm hCl.

    I had been driving the car in town and over the last several weeks it has started to run rough, (sluggish and missing) I have had the vacuum issues since I picked it up (no door locks or brake boost) and asumed these were all part of the problem.

    I am just really peplexed right now. I love this body style and thought I had found a car that may have only needed minor work. Now it's looking grim.

oscar

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Re: Well any suggestions from my experts?
« Reply #3 on: 10 May 2006, 06:52 PM »
Mmmm, first I'd get the car back. 

Go to an auto shop and buy a compression gauge if you haven't got one, they're inexpensive and they'll come with instructions if you've never used one before.  Check each cylinder. Three to four turns of the engine will see the needle jump up to the max pressure. 

I can't help but feel it's vacuum or electrical related.  I can't remember off hand how vacuum affects engine running.  But if you do bring it home as suggested, plug the brake booster vacuum line and smaller auxillary vac line (to locks etc) and run the engine.  See if there's any difference.  Then do the compression test.  Do 2 and 4 first and see what you get.  Also see if they maintain compression.  Without holes in your pistons I can't see how your 2 and 4 cylinders would have zero compression.  Even worn rings will show some compression.  Any Q's just ask.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

michaeld

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Re: Well any suggestions from my experts?
« Reply #4 on: 11 May 2006, 12:27 AM »
I'm afraid I don't even begin to qualify as an "expert" but I know enough to be somewhat skeptical of your mechanics.  I can see them not being able to adjust your mixture enough, but I have a hard time understanding how they would send you off to the emissions test w/ your car pumping out that many HCI.    There are some boneheads out there masquerading as mechanics, and there are plenty of mechanics out there who are hiring untrained kids to do jobs THEY should be doing. 

I agree with Oscar.  Take it home.  And take your time.  Don't trust the first mechanic who tells you he's going to have to replace your engine.  Don't rush into something like this.

As someone who is generally able to take one thing off and bolt something just like it back on - but often lacks diagnostic skills - I am finding the internet to be quite helpful.  Pay close attention to everything that you are noticing with your engine performance (or lack thereof), write it down in list form, and then type it in to google.  You will likely see a fairly short list of possibilities start emerging.  Also, since you've been told you have two dead cylinders google "dead cylinder" and "car," read what the symptoms are, and then see if your symptoms match.  Big Richard gave you another candidate in suggesting a blown head gasket.  Google it and find out what would happen if you have a blown head gasket.

Heck, at least when you take it back (to another mechanic for a second opinion), at least your reading would help you sound like someone who has a clue, rather than some sucker waiting to get screwed.

Sorry I can't be of more help than a few general suggestions.  I sure hope it's just something like a bad head gasket, or that the shop screwed up the adjustment so bad it's off the charts, or something like that.  Keep us posted what you learn.
Mike



Here is an example of a useful, informative article I found by entering "dead cylinder" (with the quotes) in google:
http://autos.yahoo.com/maintain/repairqa/engine/ques053_1.html

« Last Edit: 11 May 2006, 01:28 AM by michaeld »

Papalangi

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Re: Well any suggestions from my experts?
« Reply #5 on: 11 May 2006, 07:27 AM »
As a quick check, running rich will cause black smoke and soot up the sparkplugs.  They will be dry or have a light film of gas on them.

A holed piston will foul the plugs with oil.  They will be wet with oil.

Running lean will burn your nose and make your eyes water.  The plugs will be whiteish and may look melted.

A broken valve will smack into the plugs and you will see the damage.

A blown head gasket may show up as white smoke from the tail pipe.  It may also over pressure the radiator.  You can check for a oily film in the radiator.  Pull the cap before you warm it up.  Check the underside of the oil cap.  If you find white goo, it means you have water in the oil.

When you do your googleing, also enter "how compression check car" or something like that and you should get quite a few hits.  Notice that I leave out "to", "the" and other filler words.  Google is good enough that you don't need them.

Michael
1976 450SEL, 116.033  Sold it to buy a '97 Crown Vic.  Made sense at the time.
1971 250C, 114.023      Sad but true, it's gone to a new home.
1976 280C  Stolen by the City of Seattle, sort of.
1970 250/8, traded in on a 1993 Land Rover Disco

rickmuzick

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Re: Well any suggestions from my experts?
« Reply #6 on: 11 May 2006, 04:34 PM »
Thanks everyone!

I was not thinking when he said "NO" compression on number 2 and 4.

I should have caught that realizing now that if there was no compression at all it would mean the piston is somehow severed at the cam and not lifting. Which of course would mean the engine would not run and would have been a very loud and very obvious event when it happened, and that did not occur.


Rick