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Message started by jacob estes on Aug 16th, 2018 at 4:57pm

Title: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 16th, 2018 at 4:57pm
About eight weeks ago, I backed out of the driveway, pressed the pedal to the floor and got no power, and blew white smoke out the exhaust. It died, I rolled to the shoulder, then enlisted my neighbors to push my car back into the driveway. I have done zero investigation since then, and actually did not even open the hood until this week.

I'm going to check the oil and coolant tomorrow, and do a compression test.

I had some cooling system issues this past year. I replaced the sensors / switches and the thermostat, bled the coolant, and it seemed to heat up and maintain temperature after this. I am concerned that it overheated sometime before that, or perhaps there was an air bubble and the engine temperature was inaccurate.

Resigned to pay out my nose on this and a few electrical issues that have outlived my patience and attention, I looked up the number for Music City Porsche and Audi in Nashville, TN, and found that they closed down permanently shortly after I brought my car there a couple years ago.

So after I assess the damage, I am either going to buckle up and do it all myself, or sell this thing and start saving for a 70's or 90's 911.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 16th, 2018 at 5:11pm
There's an older man I met at the auto parts store who has an enormous German Shepherd named "Nelson" after Nelson Mandela because this dog was raised and trained in a women's prison. The dog was quiet and gentle and didn't need a leash. It turns out the man lives somewhere in my neighborhood, and walks his dog past my house sometimes. He recognized my car and came to talk to me about it.

I told him the car has been losing coolant, and I was worried it was getting into the oil because the exhaust was wet. We spoke about the car, and after he left I felt excited about working on this car and maintaining it again. I had lost my enthusiasm for it after years of kicked in the stomach by this car.

So I said goodbye to Nelson, hopped in my car, and sent home 4,000 RPM of disappointment.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 17th, 2018 at 11:10pm
Pulled my spark plugs and found that #1 and #4 have what looks like the delicious and much sought-after Chocolate Shake.

Attempted a compression test but only got 3/4 done before the battery ran out of juice.

1- 210
2 - 135
3 - 120
4 -

I assume the absurd compression on #1 is because there is coolant in there. If not that, then perhaps I did the test incorrectly in a way I am not aware of. This is the first time I've done this on my own and the anomaly was the first one. When the battery is charged I'm going to repeat it and of course test #4.
944-spark-plugs-compression.jpg ( 373 KB | 58 Downloads )

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by JBCB944 on Aug 18th, 2018 at 1:59am
Is the milkshake in the reservoir?   What does the end of the dip stick look like?

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 18th, 2018 at 3:25am
The reservoir actually looks empty. This is actually what had given me hope before that my coolant was just leaking, even though I saw no leaks. It seemed to lose coolant without driving it.

I stopped working on it today after removing the battery and doing some cleaning. I have an oil drain plug with a valve on it that I intended to swap out at the next oil change, but I can't find the thing.

When I find it I'm gonna get under the car and release some fluids. (Get your mind out of the gutter, sir!)

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by WJH on Aug 19th, 2018 at 3:31am
I've done 2 head gaskets on these cars. Actually, it isn't that bad. There are other things (like a clutch) that are much worse.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 19th, 2018 at 2:57pm
I actually did the clutch on this car with very little experience with working on cars. This forum and Clark's Garage made it possible.

I am expecting to have to do the head gasket, the rod bearings, and probably I will go ahead and replace the timing belt since it's difficult for me to get this car indoors to work on. It's got probably another year of life on it, with very few miles on it, but I don't know if I'll get another chance to work on it otherwise.

I also have an offset cam key (if I can friggin find it), and I may do some other maintenance and upgrades. If I can choose to do some work, it might make it more fun doing the stuff I'm being forced to do haha.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by WJH on Aug 19th, 2018 at 8:41pm
If you did the clutch, you can certainly do this. If you get new head nuts (recommended) they will be 12mm tall. Make sure to follow Clark's values for 12mm. They changed somewhere along the way. Also, it is a great time to replace the vacuum lines. It will never be any easier. I also used the opportunity to replace the AC o-rings at the passenger firewall. You'll think of other stuff when you get it apart, AOS, ICV, etc.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by Ky951 on Aug 20th, 2018 at 2:51pm

WJH wrote on Aug 19th, 2018 at 3:31am:
I've done 2 head gaskets on these cars. Actually, it isn't that bad. There are other things (like a clutch) that are much worse.


Totally agree. 

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 20th, 2018 at 11:18pm
If you guys think so, then I'm confident I can do it. I don't think I can do it without swearing and threatening to haul it to the junk yard, but I'll get it done.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 21st, 2018 at 10:21pm
Compression test #2:

1 - 235
2 - 175
3 - 170
4 - 250

Looks like coolant in the oil. If I don't find my new drain plug tonight I'll just go ahead and drain it and reuse my plug for now.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 22nd, 2018 at 3:32am
Found my oil drain valve and offset cam key! I have a document bag for each of my cars, and since these were small parts I put them in there.

It's on now.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 23rd, 2018 at 7:27pm
Drained the oil today. Thick, rich, milk chocolate. It actually made me hesitant to drink my coffee when I returned to my desk.

Also have a small amount of oil in the coolant reservoir. There didn't appear to be any when I first started draining the radiator, but I got my catch pan in place and removed the reservoir cap and found a small amount of oil there as well.

Gonna budget the stuff I want to do tonight.
944-oil-milkshake.jpg ( 282 KB | 61 Downloads )

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Aug 23rd, 2018 at 7:59pm
I think also that my power steering is leaking. Saw red transmission fluid beading at the bottom of the pump.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by JBCB944 on Aug 25th, 2018 at 12:55am

jacob estes wrote on Aug 23rd, 2018 at 7:59pm:
I think also that my power steering is leaking. Saw red transmission fluid beading at the bottom of the pump.


Hopefully it's just the hose that is rotting from the atf.   I replaced my ps reservoir and hose sourced from Ian & Steve a couple of years ago, simple job even without a lift.

Sorry to hear about the milkshake.  Best of luck with the head gasket job and all the "inside" cleaning.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on May 15th, 2020 at 9:35pm
The universe has inspired me to work on this car again, by apparently destroying the pressure plate on my Honda. My neighbor has offered to help me work on it, so we're going to push it under his covered porch and do the head gasket, timing belt, oil cooler gasket, oil pan gasket, and rod bearings.

Every part of the intake from the engine to the air filter had chocolate shake in it. I discovered the air box is very thoughtfully designed so that liquids pool to the opposite direction of the path to the engine.

I found that chocolate shake also got into the Throttle Position Sensor. I left it sitting upside down on my bench and found about half an ounce had just leaked out. I've attempted to clean it and dismantle it, but haven't had any improvement. It actually tests worse than before I tried to clean it. Same resistance across all pins regardless of switch position.

I am not sure how much demand there is for these but I think there is a market opportunity here- as far as I can tell these things are literally just an on/off switch. I am confident we could 3D print the enclosure and get the internals on Mauser or whatever.

I've also been cleaning and painting parts that I had to take off of the car. The color I'm using is Duplicolor Ford Gray. I wanted something that didn't look "cool" but would at least be clean, and this sort of matches my car. The parts have ended up looking like untextured 3D computer models, however.

I also had a great deal of trouble getting the throttle cam and pieces off of the shaft. To reassemble, I put some Kroil on there, and then used a socket and deadblow hammer to get the last part of the bracket on there.






Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on May 15th, 2020 at 9:56pm
Also important, the neighbor's cat and a raccoon have been coming to visit while I work on the car.


Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on May 19th, 2020 at 3:03am
I got the aftermarket fuel injector seal kit since some of the seal parts had to be pried out of the head with a screw driver. I was gentle but replacing the seals is only a few bucks. The injectors have some rust but I'm not worried about that.

Awhile back, WitchHunter tested my injectors and found only one of them was salvageable. They did the sonic cleaning on that one, and I replaced the other three with rebuilt injectors. (WitchHunter's customer service is as good as 944Online. If you are going to have your injectors out for a couple weeks, I highly recommend them.)


Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on May 19th, 2020 at 3:03am
Also I tried to get the raccoon to eat a cat treat out of my hand, and she bit me.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on May 21st, 2020 at 2:25am
My neighbor and I got my cam and head off today. I don't see where the gasket failed, but there is milkshake everywhere. I'm going to get the oil cooler off tomorrow.

He also commented on how good the cylinders looked. He figured there would be carbon built up, but the walls felt very smooth.

The plan is to do the oil cooler tomorrow, and get everything cleaned. I think I can get the head resurfaced on friday, and then start reassembly, which I expect will be less fun than it has been so far.

I am grateful not to have encountered any fasteners that were too rusted to use, or damaged in removal. That is a first, lol. But disassembly has been a leisurely process. Being so close to driving again might make insane.








Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on May 22nd, 2020 at 5:21am
The oil cooler is off. This was difficult because of everything in the way. As well, the oil pressure sending unit was difficult to get to and also particular about the wrench it will allow.

I had a 24mm wrench already, but it was too fat to fit on the bolthead between the body of the unit and the oil cooler. I used an angle grinder to remove less than .5 mm per side, and it fit. The thickest it measures now is 10 mm now according to my cheap calipers.

I removed the outer exhaust headers so I could wrench the oil pressure sending unit from above. The wires connected to it had 7mm nuts.

Getting the four 13mm bolts for the oil cooler off required a combination of socket extensions and a u-joint adapter.

The oil pressure relief valve initially left the inside piece in the engine, but it slid out on its own.

I also found there was no visible oil in the coolant in the oil cooler. It doesn't seem that the seals here failed. As well, the oil cooling manifold looked practically new.

The head is clean, and there is some pitting. I am having it resurfaced tomorrow. The gasket is still on the engine. I plan to scrape it off tomorrow.




Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on May 24th, 2020 at 4:24am
I got the oil cooler back on today, but I broke my oil pressure sending unit. Going to try to get one locally tomorrow.

The oil cooler install was a little unusual. Hopefully not in a way that produces Chocolate Shake The Sequel.

First, with the plastic washer inside the housing made the oil radiator piece sit too far proud of the housing, about 1mm. Originally it did not have a plastic washer, and this only seems to be for positioning, so I declined to use it. Using one shim got me within the .25 mm tolerance.

To tighten the bottom, front-of-car bolt for the oil cooler housing, I used a u-joint and socket extension and wrenched from the top. I was not able to use a torque wrench on this bolt, so I tried this same adapter combination on one of the properly torqued bolts and tried to match that.

The OPRV alignment tool seemed to get stuck once the four bolts for the oil cooler were tightened, but came out with a little encouragement.

And lastly, one of the connectors on the oil pressure sending unit broke. I shouted curse words into the night.








Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by OhioTom on May 27th, 2020 at 6:54pm
Some years used the plastic spacer.. other years not...
Good you checked....

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Jun 17th, 2020 at 7:24am
The head gasket job is complete and the engine runs! Very pleased! Drove it around the block a few times and wow I forgot how much I prefer these cars to any other I've ever driven.

But, the car would not run without the fuel pump jumpered. We tested all points on the relay board where the DME Relay goes, and the only spot that failed was the DME Ground. After running the wire down and finding continuity all the way down, I swapped in a used DME to no improvement.

I think I've read that the DME Ground only gets continuity once the flywheel is spinning, so this test was likely flawed.

The next time we tested, the 12v Ignition Power was not getting power.

Possibly related, I found the alternator belt had come off. On inspection I found the AC Compressor has completely lost one of its bolts, and just let the belt go.

I'm going to correct this and then perform all the tests over again. It looks like there is a crack where one of the bolts goes as well. I'm going to examine it and decide if I will use some JB Weld type fix, or replace the compressor. (I have since changed my mind on air conditioning in these cars. I cannot go without air conditioning.)

While running down the connections, I took the relay board out, which is something I have vowed never to do again because it is such a frustrating ordeal.

There are retaining pins on the plugs, and on several of mine the pins have broken off. It's also difficult to keep all of these plugs in when reassembling, so I added some gaff tape to increase friction. I think I will regret this the next time I have to unhook all of them.

If you haven't seen these plugs before, they are designed so they will only fit back in their correct position and orientation. Also, under the relay board there is a grid of spade connectors, labeled like apartment buildings. Letter for section, and row and column. The Haynes manual (and I assume the shop manual and hopefully everything else) references these locations in the electrical diagrams.





Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by Kentucky 951 on Jun 18th, 2020 at 12:09pm
Congratulations on making it this far.  I prefer mechanical issues t electrical.  Hope it isn't too hard to run down.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by XxSteve944onlinexX on Jun 19th, 2020 at 1:27pm
Either have the compressor ear welded or replace it. JB weld will be a very temporary fix due to the location and the amount of vibration the compressor sees. That belt looks like it has seen better days as well.

On the fuel pump power issue double check the dme harness grounds on the bellhousing those wires were likely getting pushed around during the head gasket replacement.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Jun 19th, 2020 at 5:02pm
I'm gonna JB Weld today before putting it back together and then upgrade the compressor once it's running. I've got new belts on the way as well.

The bolts I got from 944Online didn't include nuts, but also don't appear to be long enough. Maybe I just can't tell how it's supposed to be installed since I've only examined mine in an uninstalled state, but I ordered some bolts that fit the measurements I took.

I do not remember which belt it was, but one of the belts previously did not fit. I also can't remember if it seemed too big or too small. The belts were verified to be correct for the car, but for whatever reason did not fit correctly. I believe now that this might have been part of it. I actually replaced the turnbuckle for the AC Compressor because it broke while driving, so I expect that this has been jacked up for awhile.

I also removed a bracket from the Power Steering Pump for a belt adjustment issue, so it's canted a little bit. Once everything is in order I want to either reinstall the bracket or mill a custom one. I thought I would have everything squared away by now so I could order a different sized belt if necessary, but that can wait.

Good call on the grounds! Will check that location today.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by XxSteve944onlinexX on Jun 19th, 2020 at 6:22pm
After looking at your compressor pic I can see now that you have a aftermarket compressor with adapter brackets. That is why the belt and bolts did not fit. It also means that your factory lines were likely cut and had fittings installed in the hose with hose clamps. If your compressor is working I wouldn't worry about replacing it but you should try to find another one of those brackets or weld it. The brackets are steel and can be welded very easily. The correct belt for your car is a 5pk1015. That belt size is specific to using that style compressor. I am not sure of the bolt sizes that came with the conversion kit but it shouldn't be hard to find something at your local hardware store that will fit.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Jun 19th, 2020 at 11:11pm
I read a little about replacement compressors, but I think I must have misunderstood. This makes a LOT of sense.

It's raining here, and I read yesterday that rabies can lie dormant for months, but once you show symptoms there is no way to prevent you from dying. So this week isn't all that great.

Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Jun 20th, 2020 at 2:35am
For any poor soul who arrives here by Google, and isn't Sherlock Holmes like Steve, and therefore can't identify a compressor by one corner of the bracket, here is a slightly better picture of my AC Compressor:


Title: Re: Think my Head Gasket Failed
Post by jacob estes on Jun 30th, 2020 at 9:12pm
I tried to start the car, hoping to test some electrical issues, and it would not. After a couple attempts, it would not even crank. I peeked at the inspection hole by the distributor and saw a frayed bit of a belt.

After pulling the top cover for the timing and balance shaft belt back, I saw the balance shaft belt was off track and shredded. Troubleshooting and maintenance paused at this moment so I could meditate over some beers.

I believe that the belt bound up the gears and stopped the engine from cranking. The timing belt still looks good. I will confirm that it is still in time and didn't jump a tooth.

Also found the lip on one of the balance shaft gears came off.

My neighbor pointed out that the gear for the Power Steering belt is tilted. Not sure if this is related.

I'm going to cut the belt and get it out, attempt to get the car back into a running state, and then replace the belt and the gear with the broken lip.

Also! My neighbor happened to have some bulbs that fit a 944 (from some of his motorcycle projects) and threw em on my car while I was at work.

And! Steve nailed it with the belt size for the AC Compressor I have. I used an M10 70mm and M8 80mm bolt on the bracket for this compressor. Now the belt fits correctly.






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