A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Discuss topics related to the CA18DE and CA18DET series engines.
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A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:55 pm

Short story:

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;
Image :wtf2:
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. :frown:

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.
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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. :cry:

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.

3-25-11: UPDATE! 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...
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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby sjbsuperman1425 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:53 pm

I would pull the pan and check for bottom end damage. if that checks out. I'd move onto finding a way to get that piece of debris that may be stuck in the check valve out. I've never torn into the engine further than taking the head off so I dont know much more than that, but do you know where abouts the check valve is?

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:00 pm

Yea, I know where the check valve is, but I have no idea how it comes out. It looks pressed into the surface of the block.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby sjbsuperman1425 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:33 pm


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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:07 pm

Yea, I remembered that thread when this happened actually. My next step is going to be to pull the head off and see if I get any oil out of the check valve. I don't think I will. If I don't, I'm going to see if I can get that thing apart and get the passage or valve cleared out.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby sjbsuperman1425 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:09 pm

that's all you really can do..good luck!

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby bersh240 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:12 pm

:( i hope nothin was damaged badly.
i never use fram... they scare me. soooo many horor stories.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby Chaluska » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:16 am

i would get in touch with fram, and make them buy a new engine...

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby r34 gtr » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:32 am

Oh no! Sir you of all people should know to rock the 'ol PL24457 oil filter, not that Fram garbage.

I think you will be surprised though, the CA18 can take so much abuse its unreal. I mean, I drove my car back from Atlanta one time with the bottom end hammering away like mad due to zero oil pressure, and it not only made the ~200 miles without crapping out, but when I pulled it apart the bearings were fine.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:42 am

A lot of ppl have had these failures with Fram oil filters and the problem is that I would spend more to pay a Lawyer than what it would cost to replace the engine.

Tim, I'm a long time user of Purolator Pure One oil filters and the only reason it didn't have one this time was because they were out of stock when I changed the filter last time. I would have been better to drive on the old oil apparently.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby roast » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:48 am

The material in the filter reminds me of some gunk I pulled out of the intake side crank vent which connects to the oil filter housing...

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:00 am

Well I'm gonna pull the head off this afternoon, so we'll see what I find. I'm expecting to crank the motor once the head is off and not have any oil come out of the block. If I'm right, then I'm gonna try and get that check valve out.

Any opinions as to whether I should try and put it back in? I can't see much of a reason for it other than to prime the head faster after startup. I don't think the DE versions of the VG and RB have this valve in the block, do they? If not, I would think Nissan deemed it unnecessary after development with the CA.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby boost_boy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:43 pm

Sorry you had this happen to you my "Brotha", but I would pull the whole motor. It's simpler and you can get up close and personal with small parts as well. The CA is too strange to make a call on your possibilities. Just pull the whole motor and not the head or you'll be wasting valuable time.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby troskinatior » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:18 pm

You should cut the bottom of the filter off to see what when wrong in there

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:43 am

Dee, I already pulled the head, but from the look of the pistons and cylinder walls, I think the engine is due for a "freshening up" anyway. The crosshatch is starting to wear off the cylinder walls, and my compression is "down" to 195psi (still w/in 2psi of eachother). It was about 210psi when I had just built the motor. These CP pistons look to use a chrome faced ring for the 1st ring and it's pretty hard on the cylinder walls. There are obvious signs of lots of detonation though and the motor held together, so I'm not complaining. I'm fortunate that I was able to learn how to tune an engine WITHOUT blowing one up first. A lot of that is thanks to you. I'm on E85 now, so the high compression + boost won't be an issue anymore.

troskinatior: I thought about it, but after doing some research, from uses CARDBOARD for the ends of their filter elements, CARDBOARD! And other ppl who have taken the filter apart after a failure like this have all found the same thing, the cardboard collapsed and the filter element disintegrated.

I'm gonna update my 1st post with new pics of the head off.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby Eikon » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:48 am

I'd contact Fram with a picture of the filter and a description of what happened and ask them what kind of publicity they want... They can be described as a responsible company that took care of their customer after a failure from their product, or they can have NICO spread the story of their trashy product and unwillingness to stand behind it... Either way, we can spread the story far and wide across the net.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby cdkilla » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:13 am

That definatly sucks, how many miles did you have on it since you built the motor? The crappy thing about the whole situation is that Fram probably won't be willing to do anything. Best of luck...

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby DALAZ_68 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:00 am

float_6969 wrote:A lot of ppl have had these failures with Fram oil filters and the problem is that I would spend more to pay a Lawyer than what it would cost to replace the engine.

Tim, I'm a long time user of Purolator Pure One oil filters and the only reason it didn't have one this time was because they were out of stock when I changed the filter last time. I would have been better to drive on the old oil apparently.
wth!? what filter is that...i never heard of said brand...i tend to stick to a Mobile1 or Stp filter :confused:

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby supersayianjim » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:06 am

yeah. i say contact fram and let them know how inferior and shitty thier product is.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:31 am

I can try contacting Fram, but from what I have gathered from the internet and family members that are mechanics, this kind of thing happens more often that ppl would think and that Fram has enough "lawyering" power behind them, they could easily tie me up for years to sort this out and it would cost me more than it's worth. Also, they would want the old oil filter back, which I could get, and the old oil, which I've already recycled. You would think they could test the oil that's left in the filter, but everyone who's tried to sue an oil filter company for damage to a motor from a failed filter has never made it through the process. The burden of proof is on me, so I would have to pay out of pocket for the testing on the filter and oil and all of my lawyers fee's up front before I could ever hope to get reimbursed. I'd also have to find a lawyer who's willing to take on the case and from what I've read, most of the ppl who have tried to sue Fram, could only find shady lawyers to take up the case. And ultimately, if they could find a good lawyer to take the case, they'd spend more on the lawyer than what the motor was worth.

Basically, I'm SOL.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby themadscientist » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:33 pm

float_6969 wrote:Image
Is the a goddamned Fram filter Ryan? (never mind, I just saw the post before mine) You know better than that. :slap:
They don't call them the "orange death" for nothing.
I hope your motor isn't damaged.

Here is what is inside one of those things.
Image

A dude cuts one apart, disgust and outrage ensues.
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r218833 ... TER-REVIEW

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby boost_boy » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:02 pm

Scew trying to sue anyone in this case. As you said, the means won't justify the gains. Just rebuild that puppy and keep it moving. Good to not see those pistons melted down and it shows your tuning is not too shabby. I think I could tune the hell out those high compression pistons. Just to stick a seed in your ear and I will create my own thread, the re-incarnation of my old white sentra lives; specs soon to follow.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:47 pm

I know on the Fram. As I said, I didn't think it could possibly fail in 500 miles. I was obviously wrong.

The more I think about this, the more I'm sure I won't need a new short block. I think any machine shop with a lathe could build this part pretty easily. Honestly, I think I could build all of it, except for turning down the OD of the piece to the right size, which would take minutes in a lathe. So I know I'll get this back on the road pretty soon. I'm still going to try every possible option for getting a new one and just installing it before I go the route of building one from scratch.

I still need to pull the cams off and see if the cam journals are in good shape and everything spec's out like it should. If not, I'm going to have some down time saving up to get my spare (4 port) head rebuilt (it's got some bent valves). Plus I think I'm going to rebuild the bottom end regardless as I think my low oil pressure problems are from too much clearance on the main and rod bearings.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby themadscientist » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:42 pm

You have another block you know. Just saying ;)

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:54 pm

I do have another block! Now if only there was someone who was near it that could pull that part off of it and send it over to me... LOL. I emailed you back BTW.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby bimeur » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:11 pm

I checked on courtesyparts, it seems that this part is available ;)

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby float_6969 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:02 pm

I CALLED courtesyparts, and the part is NOT available. It's in the catalog, and they can give me a part number, but the part is discontinued and none of the dealerships in the US have it in stock.

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby themadscientist » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:26 pm

If I can't get you one just pick up a steel rod the correct diameter, cut it to length and drill the correct size hole in it; done!

Wait, F that idea. You caught Mad hopped up on coffee with the neurons firing. Go to a motorcycle shop and find a carburettor main jet the right size and drill and tap the hole in the block for the jet.

Image

You have done several things with this mod.

1. The jet is removable and can be reused at rebuild time or if you use a Fram filter again. :slap:

2. You are no longer beholden to Nissan to supply the part. Bike carb jets are everywhere and cheap.

3. You can tune the oil delivery to the head by adjusting the size of the main jet. Yeah Tomei, suck on that!

I'm doing it on the next RB or CA I overhaul. How I don't get conceited when I am this clever escapes me. :dblthumb:

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby s13drifter88 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:10 pm

I can make that tap for you

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Re: A Bad Day In CA18DET Land

Postby bimeur » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:38 am

float_6969 wrote:I CALLED courtesyparts, and the part is NOT available. It's in the catalog, and they can give me a part number, but the part is discontinued and none of the dealerships in the US have it in stock.
oh!

sorry, i didnt' know you've done this.


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