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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Summary of findings:
  • Lots of oil all over the place. Current assumption is the lower pcv is stuck.
  • Lower rubber tube to turbo was loose and was allowing oil to spray lower engines bay.
  • Upper rubber tub from turbo to intercooler (next to the inter cooler) was also loose and spraying oil, that gunned up to grease.

Note: I did know the car had a boost leak but i could not find it. I hind sight i didn’t look hard enough.

Actions taken so far:
  • DDM Works, ordered ALL new rubber tubes and t-bolts. cooling, breathing ( including charge tubes ) . Waiting for vender to ship.
  • Flushed and cleaned intercooler
  • Broke upper check valve ( hey at least it’s not leaking. )
m

Next Steps:
  • Order up some catch cans (2). Need to research more. May go with DDM
  • Ask the forum for a sanity check on the above.
  • Look at the valves for buildup. Anyone have a way to do this without taking off the valve cover? I did see an interesting tube video on how to use seafoam to clean the valves on a LFN.
  • what am i missing???
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
That endoscope comes with mirror attachments and also hook attachments for getting things like a wedding ring out of a sink drain!!

A turbo is going to peak like that and then settle in at a lower pressure so that sounds normal. Are you at high altitude or have you had a tune done to the car?


For 60 bucks it has a nice clear image and the battery in it lasts something like 4 or 5 hours of constant use, which is a HUGE amount of time. Using an endoscope is a skill, you are going to have to practice a lot in order to get the hang of how it works. A suggestion is to get an app for your viewing device that locks the screen rotation. so instead of trying to turn the camera so the image on the screen is up, you will turn the screen instead.
Like you said for $60 it’s a win. I can’t get over how good it is for the $$, just wow. I have a 5 year old android that’s now a dedicated barn media player and endoscope monitor.

The car has a GM stage 2 and for the most of its life the car lived @ 100 to 300 foot elevation and that’s the level I reported. If i remember correctly the boost level I see is normal and maybe little on the high side for that tune. I have not driven the car much in last 3 years since my daughter was born so my memory may be a little off. In the warmer months do try to drive it at least once a month (100 miles+).

My current house is at 2800 feet
 

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If you hake the check valve you should hear a rattle in it. the crazy thing about this specific problem I believe that if the conditions are just right like how much boost has built up in the charge pipes and how hot the engine is the pressure is going to move in a really funky manner.

113609



So here is a cheezy drawing I made up. It shows the airflow (pink arrow) when the turbo is spooling. The only place that there is any vacuum when the turbo is spooling is directly in front of the compressor wheel. the red line from the valve cover ends up with a vacuum on it as does the inside of the valve cover. That vacuum is what pulls air in the blue line from the intake pipe.

Now think about this. How fast do you think that check valve is going to be able to snap shut if 14-20 PSI of air come screaming down the line. The orange arrows are the air that is being recirculated from from the output side of the turbo back into the input side. The reason this is occurring is because the throttle plate has closed because you have let off the accelerator and the turbo keeps on spinning developing more pressure. the pressure between the turbo and the throttle body has to be dealt with. so it gets dumped back into the intake side of the turbo. That can be quite a bit of pressure.

The reason I said it can move in a funky manner is if there happens to be a higher amount of crankcase pressure because of say the engine being really hot who knows. so less air goes backwards through the system and more travels up the intake pipe backwards.How is that check valve going to respond if the pressures only have a minute amount of difference between them???

I have thought about using the stock intake pipe and drilling a whole lot of small holes in it and fed string through the holes and knotted the outside so the thread couldn't get sucked in. Then put a camera in the pipe and watch how the threads move. I am really wanting to know what is going on in there.

Lets put into perspective the kinds of forces we are talking about.

This is from 6psi of air pressure. 10.5ish absolute psi inside the plave and there is roughly 4.3 psi pushing from the outside (30,000 foot altitude) 10.5 - 4.3 = 6.2
113610



think that check valve is built good enough to keep a perfect seal if hit with 20 psi?? 🤨

If you blew down the tube using your lungs the most pressure you would push down it is about 2psi
 

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OK so you have the stage 2, that is why you have 18psi of boost.

You do not need to remove the valve cover to see the valves. In fact you are not going to be able to see the back of the valves at all if you remove the valve cover. You will only be able to see the valve stems. In order to see the backs of the valves you will need to pull the cold side charge pipe out of the coupling that is attached to the throttle body. with the key on and engine off set a brick on the accelerator. This is going to open the throttle plate in the throttle body. Take that handy endoscope and feed it into the throttle body. It should find it's way through the intake manifold and down one of the intake ports on the head without much fuss. once you get into the intake port on the head you should see the valve clear as day.

clean valve
113611



dirty valve
113612
 

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The only thing you need to make sure of when you get the catch cans is that they DO NOT have a check valve in them. Don't worry about the broken check valve at all you needed to remove it any way in order to put the catch cans in. Make sure the "in" port on both cans is what is connected to the valve cover.. With the catch cans on both lines it no longer matters if the airflow travles backwards through the PVC system. the catch cans are designed in a manner that will allow air to flow backwards through them and not pick up any of the oil contained within them. By having the 2 cans no oil from the valve cover should make it into the intake tract and all of the emissions will be compliant. (except for California)
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Thank you for the diagram. Over the last couple days i have been researching the heck out of GDI engines in general and how they interact with oil catch cans and how this all feed back to build up on the valves.

I will try to find the post but GM apparently did a huge amount of work looking at root cause and how to work around. Summary of the research was they found the three major causes carbon build up on the valves.

1. poor quality oil and or extended mileage between changes causing excessive early wear
2. stuck or leaking check valves
3. when engine is turned OFF

With number 3 being the leader producer of carbon build up.

I found #3 interesting as it’s not what i expected. I find it interesting as i expected micro changes in the check valve to allow oil vapor past and condense and this appears not the case. I need to find my old copy of fluid works and run some tests but it’s possible that the air is working more like a spring than a non compressible fluid and the oscillation of positive <> negative averages out to keep the check valve closed. The system falls apart when engine losses vacuum / pressure and heavy vapor and or maybe even liquid passes the check valve.

Free free to call B.S on the above it’s just an armchair observation and your not going hurt my feelings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
checking for carbon
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
edit: reread the post again disregard below as a prior post has info on throttle body. I also sounded needy. Sorry about that
——-

I need some help.

Any easy method for checking for carbon on the valves? The current status is I have almost all the cooling and hoses off. I read a post where they pulled the brake vacuum tub but I don’t want to guessing with the brake system if avoidable.
Thanks to kgschlosser suggestion i also have good bore scope.

I did pull a plug and take a picture of cylinder 3
113714
113715
 

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By looking at the cylinder I would say to pull the intake manifold and do a right proper job cleaning the buildup on the backs of the valves... Once you get the car running again then use a cleaner to take care of the insides of the cylinders.

We still need to figure out where in the hell the white smoke is coming from. Check all 4 cylinders specifically where the head meets the cylinder wall. Because of how much carbon there is if there is a head gasket leak you should see a wet spot in the carbon.
 

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I can see that there has been some detonation occurring.

113719


I circled what looks like pitted areas
 

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I have attached the R & I for the intake manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I have attached the R & I for the intake manifold.
Thank you for posting the instructions !! I need to think long and hard before taking the intake manifold off as my free time is very limited. I would want to finish that as quickly as possible from start to end before a parts mess (super cute little girl) helps it go sideways. 🤗

Other comments:
  • In hind sight I believe the smoke was actually steam.
  • For the last 20k or so I will randomly receive a p0302. I would clear the code and it would take another 1500 or so before it would return. Made sure i had a full drive cycle and drove like a madman or like a granny and could never get it to reproduce on demand. After 2 attempts at the dealer I just clear the code and move on. That being said your looking at the picture for #3 (counting front to back) so I would assume that would be a 304 instead?
  • Just after the overheat event I did notice an ever so slight white residue around the exhaust tips (coke habit? ) and some condensation on the garage floor. I was cold ~34 degrees and quite humid with fog from melting snow. The barn was also very damp with all the steam and I did not want to jump to conclusions that it was a leaky head until i did some more diagnostics. My logic is if the car is belching steam close to the air cleaner then the car is sucking it into the intake and any gunk that is water soluble is going to get pulled in and or pushed out.
  • Idled the engine after the overheat for and hour with the heater / box fan and the white powder or condensation didn’t happen again. Engine temp was 205 or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
you endoscope should have come with these attachments.



you can put one of the mirrored ends on. Use some good tape and tape the end onto the endoscope don't want to lose it in a cylinder. Take the valve cover off so you can bend the end of the endoscope 90 degrees and be able to feed it in.
My scope shipped with the 3 attachments including a 45 degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
113722


Cylinder 4, the white stuff is junk that fell in from the spark plug well.

All the wells looked number 2 below. #2 was special as the plug had maybe 4 drops of oil on the very top of the treads. Plugs where changed by the dealer @24k , car is currently at 60k+
Gapping of plugs was very consistent and just slightly over 0.032 with a feeler gauge
113723
 

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0300 = random misfire on any cylinder.
0301 = cylinder 1
0302 = cylinder 2
0303 = cylinder 3
0304 = cylinder 4


and this is how the cylinders are numbered
firewall
cylinder 4
cylinder 3
cylinder 2
cylinder 1
front of car


because the 0302 code didn't return right away after clearing it and from all of the other evidence we have seen so far I am going to suspect a sticking valve. You may not have coolant getting into the cylinders. It could be oil that is being burned. Or as I said before it could be the turbo is completely toast.

You can check for a bad head gasket or a cracked cylinder/cracked head really easily. Get yourself a compression tester if you don't have one. Harbor Freight has decent ones and they are cheap. You will need an air compressor for this test. We are not going to do a compression test. I want you to take the adapter that fits into the spark plug hole. You need to get a male air nipple attached to that adapter. You may have to go to a hardware store to get an adapter. Once you have the 2 attached turn on your air compressor and set the pressure regulator on it to 100lbs. Set cylinder 1 so the piston if all the way up. you can do this by manually rotating the engine and looking down the spark plug hole with a light. Screw in the adapter with the air fitting attached and connect the air hose. If there is a crack in the cylinder wall or the head gasket is blown you re going to hear what sounds like water boiling inside the engine. If you have an intake problem you will hear a leaking air sound in the throttle body and if there is an exhaust cam problem you will hear leaking air in the exhaust. If you have excessive blow by the air is going to get pushed into the crank case. do that test on each cylinder.


This will l help greatly in diagnosing the steam.


Go to the grocery store and get yourself a package of black fine tip sharpie markers, you want no less then 10 markers because you will drop them and misplace them. also get a large package of brown paper lunch bags. When you take a part off put any and all screws, nuts, bolts, clips and whatever else that belongs to that part into the bag. Write on the bag what the part is. It doesn't matter if you use the correct name of the part so long as you know what you are calling it. also write a number in the top corner of the bag incrementing the number by 1 with each new part removed. 1, 2, 3.. etc. If you pull a part off and it has different size bolts/screws.place the fastener onto the bag and trace it. do this with one of each size. draw a small diagram for the bolt locations. Number the tracings of the bolts and write the number next to the position in the diagram where the bolt goes. Place the bags in a plastic tote.

This is the method I use when taking a apart. The car could sit for a year and you would be able to put it back together correctly. It also keeps you from accidentally knocking the pile of bolts and screws off the wiper cowl or some other place you placed them.

The number in the top corner is so you can put the parts back on in the exact reverse order you took them off.
 

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My logic is if the car is belching steam close to the air cleaner then the car is sucking it into the intake and any gunk that is water soluble is going to get pulled in and or pushed out.
This is correct logic. But we need to make sure the overheat didn't cause any damage in the engine before you go throwing gobs of money at it only to find out the engine is spent.

I think you are dealing with 2 different problems and they are intertwining themselves. So lets address the steam as a separate issue form the oil.


Do the pressure test on the cylinders and report back.

If that pressure test is good then the next few things will apply.
I know you pulled the turbo did you check the compressor wheel for lateral play? just push the center of the compressor wheel left, right, up and down. is there is lateral play then either a rebuild or replacement is what I would suggest.

Get rid of all of the worm gear clamps on the charge piping and replace the turbo to charge pipe coupling and the charge pipe to throttle body coupling. The CAC couplings should have metal wire wound around them and are really good couplings, just give those a good cleaning.

Did you find the cause of the overheat? was it the fan or the fan controller? Gates makes a replacement fan controller for $90.00 USD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
This is correct logic. But we need to make sure the overheat didn't cause any damage in the engine before you go throwing gobs of money at it only to find out the engine is spent.

I think you are dealing with 2 different problems and they are intertwining themselves. So lets address the steam as a separate issue form the oil.

Do the pressure test on the cylinders and report back.

If that pressure test is good then the next few things will apply.
I know you pulled the turbo did you check the compressor wheel for lateral play? just push the center of the compressor wheel left, right, up and down. is there is lateral play then either a rebuild or replacement is what I would suggest.

Get rid of all of the worm gear clamps on the charge piping and replace the turbo to charge pipe coupling and the charge pipe to throttle body coupling. The CAC couplings should have metal wire wound around them and are really good couplings, just give those a good cleaning.

Did you find the cause of the overheat? was it the fan or the fan controller? Gates makes a replacement fan controller for $90.00 USD.
What is a CAC?

Root cause of the overheat looks to be the fan as when i first spun it by hand it was crunchy and the spun fee. I could not detect any voltage when testing so the assumption is it’s dead. I have a new one on hand and have not installed yet in case I need additional room.

When scoping out the cylinders i did use the 90 mirror and rotated the engine so they where in what i think was the lowest position, as much as i could see the walls where in amazingly good shape with no scoring. I could clearly see the overlapping polishing pattern from GM when they originally honed the cylinder.

In hind sight the fan may had died last year or before. As I noticed the temp would spike to 220 but then drop. I assumed that it could have been a bubble in the cooling or stuck thermostat as noticed the temp would raise going downhill and cool off going up hill 195. Also in hind sight it could be because i enjoy the windy mountain roads more ( faster). My area does not have any traffic lights or note or stop 🛑 that are not a rolling stop so in some regards a cooling fan functionally optional as the car almost never drops below 30mph.

Per the damaged block, head or gasket... After this happened i wanted to buy a pressure testing kit but all the local stores were out of stock or closed for covid. At the time i also didn’t want to put money into a damaged engine until i had some idea of the condition.

This is the test i did if there was a catastrophic failure...

I changed the oil and radiator fluid into clear plastic milk jugs and let sit for a couple weeks. I did not see any cross fluid contamination. Did the same test again after changing the fluids and idling the engine for an hour with a couple spike in high RPM and did’t find anything. Engine purred as much as any engine of this type does.

- Per pressure testing the cylinders didn’t know about the air compressor option. My car does not have any coolent fluid currently. I would assume this needs to be added to hear the gurgle?

- I didn’t pull the turbo yet. I did very gently try to wiggle the the spinny assembly and it didn’t move other than the correct rotational axis. I don’t know much about turbos but i didn’t find any obvious slop.

Summary of next steps:
  • clean the carbon from spark plug well
  • pressure test
 

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Thank you @JohnWR

Charge air cooler is what the intercooler is. The air that is being moved between the turbo and and engine is called "charge air" just like the pipes that connect to the CAC are called "charge pipes" The pipe that connect to the CAC on the turbo side is called the "hot side charge pipe" and the pipe that connects to the throttle body is called the "cold side charge pipe" You may also see the term "IC pipes" This is short for "Intercooler pipes"

The term intercooler simply means the cooler "in between" (inter) compression cycles. The first compression cycle being the turbo or supercharger and the second being when compressed in the engine.
The term "charge" air cooler comes from turbo "charger" or super"charger". while neither are incorrect terms the more formal term is CAC (Charge Air Cooler). I believe this is because a 3 letter acronym can be made from it and we all know how auto manufacturers love those 3 letter acronyms, look at IPC or Instrument Panel Cluster. Gauge Cluster is much easier to understand by almost anyone but no 3 letter acronym can easily be made for it. so IPC is what the formal name is.
 
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