I drove out to my Dad's house in a small town about 20 min from here. No problems. I came back home (it's all highway between here and there, 75-80mph), and as I got off the highway, I realized my lifters were making all kinds of noise. I don't have an oil pressure gauge, but the light never came on. It was only 2 more blocks to my house and I wasn't hearing any bottom end noise, so I babied it home and parked it. I've always had low oil pressure problems, so I thought maybe the oil was a little low or something. Today I checked the oil and it was fine. Crap, my oil pump must have taken a dump on me. So I drain the oil and pull the filter off and I find this;
What you're seeing is the filter material, plus some other stuff, blown into the middle of the filter. This filter is about 3 months old and has less than 1K miles on it. It's actually probably closer to 500 miles, but I didn't put the miles on it when I changed it because I knew the car was going to be sitting a lot and I wouldn't hit the miles before the next oil change.
So my first thought it that all the crap blew into the motor and everything is screwed, but I talked my brother-in-laws (they're both 30+ year mechanics) and they said to fill it back up with some cheap oil, change the filter, and see if the lifters pump up. So I did what they suggested and no luck. I ran the motor for about 2 min. and the lifters never even tried to pump up. Right before I shut it off, I pulled the oil cap off to see if there was any oil making it up to the cams. Nothing. The head looked pretty dry everywhere. Luckily I use Mobile 1 + Lucas, and from what I could see from the oil cap, there was no wear on the cams or lifters.
So I'm not sure what to do. I'm guessing a piece of the filter is stuck at the check valve in the block that feed oils to the head. If so, then my bottom end is fine. But how do you get it out? If it's stuck somewhere else, then I could have damage everywhere, although I know the turbo was spinning REALLY freely, and it gets it's oil feed from the same place the bottom end does, so I doubt it.
Comments, suggestions, words of wisdom? I'm pretty down about this. I probably need to pull the oil pan and check the bearings. If they're alright, then it's probably worth trying to save this motor. If not, then I might need to start from scratch, which is REALLY depressing.
3-19-11: I pulled the head off yesterday, to test my theory. I was right. Once I got the head off and cranked it, no oil was coming out of the block. I cranked it for a good 5 seconds. The oil light turned off almost immediately (like it always does) and not a drop of oil came out of the block. So I tried to pull the check valve out. It's pressed in there. I tried to tap the hole in the middle for threads so I could use a slide hammer and pull it out, but it's a really
small hole. .089" to be exact and I messed up the threads on the tap trying to start it. It was getting dark, and I said fcuk it, and drilled it out. I got lucky and the bit got stuck and the hole thing spun in the block. So I just pulled up on the drill and out it came. In hindsight, I think if I'd used an bit extractor, It would have come out and I might have been able to re-use it. Now I need to call Nissan and see if I can get another one. Keep your fingers crossed.
3-19-11: Well, no luck at Nissan. I have a part number (11036-D4200
), but the part is No Longer Available. To add insult to injury, the retail price on the part is only about $1. He checked all the Nissan dealers in the US and none of them have it. I'm going to try and contact some machine shops on Monday and see if they have a source for this part, but I'm not expecting much. Does anybody have a damaged block they would be willing to try and remove this part from? I think if I had a REALLY HIGH quality tap, that you could get threads tapped on the inside of the opening and get it pulled out. It's not in there very tight. The tap you need to use is a 4-40NC tap.
If I can't find this part, I'm gonna be in the market for a short block I guess.
3-24-11: Yea! I found a machine shop who'll build me the valve. I had to pull the block out and take it down to him so he can machine it to fit the hole perfectly. He said he thought he'd have it done before the weekend. Should be less than $100. Still sucks for a $.67 part from Nissan, but much cheaper than another block+machine work. I've got enough trouble into this thing, even if the bearings look fine (I still haven't pulled the pan yet) I'm going to put new bearings and rings in it. I'm considering swapping to the 4 port head too. The ports w/o fuel injectors are pretty nasty again already. If the 8 port head is OK, I think I'm going to design a crazy ITB setup that also closes off the other ports at low load/revs, uses TB's on the other ports, and 8 fuel injectors. We'll see how money goes as the 4 port needs a valve job and I'd probably do a polish on it as well.
I picked my block and new check valve up today. Everything looks great. The part should work just like the factory piece did. I'm going to get the block on my engine stand this weekend and pull the pan and check the main and rod bearings, and pull the cam caps and check the cam journals. If the head is OK, I'll probably put my HKS 264's and HKS adjustable cam gears on since I'll have it all apart. I was gonna do a dyno comparison, but I'd like to index the cams and it's MUCH easier to do with the motor out of the car. And on to the pics...