Dashcat2 Build

Jorona

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
3,545
Good ol'GM V-6s with bad intake gaskets. Happens on them all, 60 degree or 90 degree. My first toy car was a 1993 Lumina Z-34 with the 3.4L DOHC. Even before I turbocharged it, it would eat intake gaskets. Over 4 years of ownership, I put 4 intake sets in it. Turned out that the manifold had warped. Got a whole intake manifold set on the last set of gaskets, and that set lasted til I blew it up, about a year and a half.

Gotta love it.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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@Jorona - I respect the idea of the DOHC 3.4L V6, but the execution was definitely that of a company that was new to DOHC design.

Some time in 2004 the 3.8L 90deg V6 was switched over to production with the new aluminum intake gaskets. Those engines should be damn near bulletproof.

@omegatotal - Everything got a coat of oil. I don't feel like pushing my luck after almost a quarter-million miles.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
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Valve covers pulled. I'll be replacing the rear valve cover gasket, but the front one will stay the same since I still need to take my car in for the engine bay fire recall and part of that is a new valve cover gasket.
IMG_1093s.jpg


Blue shop towels stuffed into the intake runners. I've cleaned up the fuel injector bosses with dry cotton swabs. They'll need detailing with brake cleaner dipped swabs.
IMG_1094s.jpg


The gasket mating surfaces of the heads need a bit of razor blade decrapifying work.
IMG_1095s.jpg


That's coolant sitting under the oil there. I'll be taking out as much of that as I can.
IMG_1096s.jpg


Coolant sludge formed by steam. I'm starting to wonder if I should drain the oil in-place and run some cheap high-mileage formula dinosaur oil for a few hundred miles just to clean everything out before putting full synthetic back in. There has got to be serious contamination in there.
IMG_1097s.jpg


Another angle of the sludge.
IMG_1098s.jpg
 

Jorona

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
3,545
@Jorona - I respect the idea of the DOHC 3.4L V6, but the execution was definitely that of a company that was new to DOHC design.

Some time in 2004 the 3.8L 90deg V6 was switched over to production with the new aluminum intake gaskets. Those engines should be damn near bulletproof.

@omegatotal - Everything got a coat of oil. I don't feel like pushing my luck after almost a quarter-million miles.

Hah, yeah. It had 5 cam shafts. Changing the timing belt was a pain in the ass.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
1,042
Clean rear valve cover with new gasket
IMG_1099s.jpg


Top of clean valve cover
IMG_1100s.jpg


Both covers have been reinstalled on the engine. I'm finalizing the mating surfaces for the lower intake manifold while the now clean part in question is drying off in the sun.
 

mannyman

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,854
Great job catching it in time, Those small V-6s from gm where kinda prone to problems, The 4.3 was excellent. Im in the middle of a timing belt on mt 4g63. Not fun at all.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
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Great job catching it in time, Those small V-6s from gm where kinda prone to problems, The 4.3 was excellent. Im in the middle of a timing belt on mt 4g63. Not fun at all.

The 4.3 was just a 350 with two cylinders cut off. Great engine, if rather vibratey. There is NO such thing as a fun timing belt change. And you have no room for error on an "interference" engine. I prefer timing chains where possible.

Having said all that, however, the 4G63 is one engine that makes the drama worthwhile. :D
 

mannyman

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,854
The 4.3 was just a 350 with two cylinders cut off. Great engine, if rather vibratey. There is NO such thing as a fun timing belt change. And you have no room for error on an "interference" engine. I prefer timing chains where possible.

Having said all that, however, the 4G63 is one engine that makes the drama worthwhile. :D

Lol its ehh, Mines no power maker but its healthy enough. How's your mom?
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 8, 2004
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Lol its ehh, Mines no power maker but its healthy enough. How's your mom?

Mom's recovering. She's in a physical rehabilitation center where she's being worked harder than the people on those fat camp reality shows. She has gained something like 15 pounds of straight muscle back and can almost walk again. It's kind of strange seeing her among all of the geriatric folks. She's the youngest patient there by about twenty years.

It's an adventure still. Fingers crossed, eyes on the ball.
 

omegatotal

Gawd
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
672
ah good good sounds like you know what you are doing :-P

and good to hear that things are going better for your mom!
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 8, 2004
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More pictures:

New lower intake gaskets are in place and the engine is looking a lot better.
gtpintake1.jpg


Divided by pi and taking measuring tape thickness into account, this is a 3.25" pulley, which I verified with my caliper I found after the picture was taken. Stock is 3.8". I shouldn't be able to run this small of a pulley due to the boost pressure created. The previous owner did something to this engine to make it work.
IMG_1106s.jpg


The injectors all looked like the one on the left. There's still staining, but that's okay. This is the only photo I have of the fuel rail before I cleaned it up, too. Photos of that come later.
IMG_1110s.jpg


When a coworker asked me if I had any big plans for the weekend, the following never crossed my mind: "Oh, nothing much. I'm just going to be standing at my kitchen sink, cleaning a supercharger with my ex-girlfriend's toothbrush while drinking Rockstar from a silver chalice."
IMG_1112sa.jpg
 

omegatotal

Gawd
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
672
More pictures:

New lower intake gaskets are in place and the engine is looking a lot better.


Divided by pi and taking measuring tape thickness into account, this is a 3.25" pulley, which I verified with my caliper I found after the picture was taken. Stock is 3.8". I shouldn't be able to run this small of a pulley due to the boost pressure created. The previous owner did something to this engine to make it work.


The injectors all looked like the one on the left. There's still staining, but that's okay. This is the only photo I have of the fuel rail before I cleaned it up, too. Photos of that come later.


When a coworker asked me if I had any big plans for the weekend, the following never crossed my mind: "Oh, nothing much. I'm just going to be standing at my kitchen sink, cleaning a supercharger with my ex-girlfriend's toothbrush while drinking Rockstar from a silver chalice."

could be have an underdrive crank pulley ? or boost controller/tune set for stock pressure?(what car is it again?)

also LMAO @ silver chalice
 

mannyman

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,854
Im glad to hear about your mom and rofl at the tooth brush. That engine looks like its brand new again. The previous owner probably ghetto "fixed" something so he could make a little more power.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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@omegatotal - I'll have to measure the crank pulley. I do know that I use a 1" shorter belt than normal while having to really struggle to get it onto the tensioner correctly, which would translate to the smaller pulley size with a stock crank pulley. Good point, though. As for boost control, it's not there. All I have is the stock bypass valve, no wastegate. The car is a 1998 Grand Prix GTP.

As for the chalice, it's something I bought to get in the medieval mood for World of Warcraft back when I still played. I had thought they were some random metal since they were $10 for the pair at a secondhand store. Nope. 925 Sterling Silver. 8 ounces each or $180 each at current prices but I'll never sell. Too awesome that the exwife left them behind.

I had a set of 78 Longines-Wittnauer 35g sterling coins I picked up for $75 in 2003 and sold for $400. I should have kept them. The current price of silver makes me want to cry deeply--like a boss.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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Im glad to hear about your mom and rofl at the tooth brush. That engine looks like its brand new again. The previous owner probably ghetto "fixed" something so he could make a little more power.

The mystery is getting deeper. There might be a racing camshaft installed in that car. The rocker arms are stock, though, as far as I can tell.

I found video and a photo of the engine before the work. I'll be uploading those for sure. Video will be at YouTube.
 

Jorona

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
3,545
Those were very common mods man. Underdrive pullies and cams are an easy way to get a fair amount of extra HP, usually in the tune of 80-100hp.
 

Roach

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Messages
467
Looking very nice, my buddy recently acquired an 04 GTP and we are awaiting the intake gaskets to tackle that nasty oil pool on the lower intake manifold area. During some research I thought it wasn't until 03-04 that they started using aluminum lower intake manifolds? Perhaps the previous owner swapped yours when he did the snout pulley?
 

LibertySyclone

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
1,366
the plot thickens!

Thought about putting in a catch can and bypassing the coolant at the TB? (this may suck living in Cache Valley and IIRC you dont have a garage)
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
1,042
I've had the catalytic converter replaced. Frankly, the stock one didn't look all that bad, but the Magnaflow high performance unit I had it replaced with is definitely less restrictive. I've still got some issues, but the list is narrowing down a lot.

Car immediately starts when cold. Under anything more than granny acceleration, though, it bogs almost like it's misfiring. It used to be that I'd have the best performance fresh from a cold start. I've reset the trouble codes to see if I can pull any data.

After warming up for a few minutes, I can romp the gas and pull harder than ever.

When restarting warm, I have to crank a few seconds before the engine will catch. For maybe a minute after a warm restart, I get some bogging with heavy throttle. This effect decreases very quickly over the next minute or so (much faster than from a cold start).

Air conditioning doesn't seem to be performing as well as it did in the past. I'm wondering if there's a vacuum leak in the HVAC control system. The gates for air flow are vacuum operated and there's a vacuum tank used to keep the gates in place when there's no vacuum to speak of from the engine). It could also be due to having maybe overcharged the refrigerant last year. We've had some very hot days recently.

I'm wondering based on the sensor readings I'm seeing if maybe burning coolant for so long has killed my front O2 sensor or even just made it dirty with residue from the coolant or even just the hard Cache Valley tap water I ran for a long time as the coolant leaked out.

I get to learn a lot more about diagnosis at any rate. In 2006 I had a Camaro that developed the same problem. The onset of that was incredibly sudden, though. It had the non-supercharged version of this same engine. I never did fix that one. I sold that car off like a year later.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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Pretty new gasket and brand new yellow and non-leaky coolant passages for the TB.
IMG_1113s.jpg


Supercharger back in place. Note it isn't bolted back down yet. It's a heavy beast at 40 pounds when you're stuck bending over the engine bay to put it back in.
IMG_1114s.jpg


Another angle.
IMG_1115s.jpg


Cleaned up injectors.
IMG_1116s.jpg


I thought I had lost this pic of the engine before I started the repairs.
FBIMG2s.jpg


After repairs. Back together.
IMG_1117s.jpg
 

Roach

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Messages
467
Vast improvement.

I went a little OCD while my buddy had his out. :) (My hands hurt)

28783529957618737035949.jpg
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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I blew a radiator hose yesterday going over the mountain and lost all my coolant. The temperature sensor is in the top of the engine so it was severely overheated without me knowing it. I thought my car was shutting off because I was low on gas. It was shutting off because the knock sensors were seeing way too much detonation.

I have no idea what temperature the engine block reached but I know there was a lot of smoke from the various residues on the outside of the block. I fixed it all and drove my car back home without the supercharger belt on because one cylinder wasn't firing right and I didn't trust boost.

I'm sure I need to change out the spark plugs now. The insulators crack when subjected to those conditions.
 

Jorona

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
3,545
Oh man, that sucks man. Once you got the hose on and moving again was their any sweet smelling smoke? I really hope you didn't warp the head or deck.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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It's fixed. Today I changed out the spark plugs and everything's back to warp five. I technically didn't need the new catalytic converter, but I'm glad I got it. All I need now is to replace the front O2 sensor since it's fouled with coolant residue and put some green antifreeze in after I do a cooling system flush.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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I'm moving over the rocks to my hometown of Brigham City in a couple of months.

I've had something else on tap for a while so time for Dashcat has been severely limited.

Everything counts in large amounts.

...like 12000 AA batteries.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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The contractor began remodeling work on the house on Friday. Ten days I've been told. In reality, more like two weeks I'm sure.

My car just turned over 225,000 miles. The repairs are still holding rock solid after almost three months.

Coming up on three years of the Dashcat project. Crazy it's been that long.
 

ekuest

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,092
good to hear from you again DNA! are you in brigham city now? thats where your mom lives right? remodeling on your house or hers? congrats on the repairs, i have a leaking head gasket thats pouring out coolant, but the car isnt worth fixing it so i just keep adding water every day and praying it starts. :) keep us updated man.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
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good to hear from you again DNA! are you in brigham city now? thats where your mom lives right? remodeling on your house or hers? congrats on the repairs, i have a leaking head gasket thats pouring out coolant, but the car isnt worth fixing it so i just keep adding water every day and praying it starts. :) keep us updated man.

I'm still in Logan for now. I anticipate I'll be moving the last weekend of the month and then using the final two weeks of advance notice for cleaning of the apartment before turning it over and getting my deposit back.

Brigham City is where pretty much _everybody_ lives. My whole family and my daughter. It just makes more sense for me to be there. Gas prices be damned. Actually, after the repairs, my car is doing way better on gas so I can hold off for a while on getting a commuter car. Though, I have a really counter-intuitive one in mind that certainly feeds my inner troll.

The house is an investment property my parents bought during the tail end of the 90s. My brothers have had their time there and now I'm able to have my turn.

Whatever you do with that gasket, don't go the stopleak route. That stuff only works when it's a radiator or hose that's leaking. The fiber stuff is bad enough, but the aluminum powder kind can nuke your engine. Also, don't completely fill the cooling system to the extent that water leaks into a cylinder that has stopped at the beginning of the compression stroke. Hydraulic lock will bend connecting rods on powerful engines and burn starters on smaller engines.
 

ekuest

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,092
I'm still in Logan for now. I anticipate I'll be moving the last weekend of the month and then using the final two weeks of advance notice for cleaning of the apartment before turning it over and getting my deposit back.

Brigham City is where pretty much _everybody_ lives. My whole family and my daughter. It just makes more sense for me to be there. Gas prices be damned. Actually, after the repairs, my car is doing way better on gas so I can hold off for a while on getting a commuter car. Though, I have a really counter-intuitive one in mind that certainly feeds my inner troll.

The house is an investment property my parents bought during the tail end of the 90s. My brothers have had their time there and now I'm able to have my turn.

Whatever you do with that gasket, don't go the stopleak route. That stuff only works when it's a radiator or hose that's leaking. The fiber stuff is bad enough, but the aluminum powder kind can nuke your engine. Also, don't completely fill the cooling system to the extent that water leaks into a cylinder that has stopped at the beginning of the compression stroke. Hydraulic lock will bend connecting rods on powerful engines and burn starters on smaller engines.

meh the car is totaled. would cost more to replace than the car is worth/take more time to fix than i care to invest in it. im just waiting for it to finally die a noble death and then i will get something else. cant sell in its condition either. i put the majority of my miles on my moped anyway since my work is only about 4 miles away.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
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And so it begins. This is the first load of gear taken to the new digs in Brigham City. That's my 3008WFP strapped against my TV in the back seat of my car. The picture was taken while stopped at the light on Westbound 14th and Main in Logan.

2012move1.jpg


I have the next five days off from work, plenty of boxes to pack up what's left, and the new place is ready.

Dashcat2 has a home in the newly finished basement and an overkill 230V 30A circuit to draw juice from.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
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I'm at the house right now. It's the last (by default) day of the move and I'm pretty close to done. I have another truckload for sure. Since it's just after 3:30AM local time, staying awake would normally be a challenge. Not for me. I have Rockstar drinks and a bunch of Little Debbie snacks. I'm going to crash so hard after this it'll register on the Richter scale.
 

MisterDNA

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
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As of 11:43 last night, work at the old apartment is finished. I don't have to go back there.

In Dashcat related news, I have placed an order for a total of 56 2GB RAM sticks. This is enough to allow using the six node short rack with the 10 node primary rack. I don't know how much RAM each node will end up with yet. I don't need hard disks in the short rack since I've switched the goal to holding the OS in RAM at each node.

The house is a box farm and the setup process is complicated by the fact that I have all of the living room stuff on the opposite side of where it's supposed to go. The couch and everything isn't on the side of the room with the cable hookup. First world problems...

I've kicked my ass non-stop for over a week now. My daughter slept in her new room last night and she gets to spend the rest of today baking muffins with her grandma while I jockey stuff around.

There's way too much work to warrant having a To Do List just yet. For now, I'll be keeping an I Did list.

Wish me luck, [H]-ites. I'm going to need it.
 
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