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What next - need some help

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Old 05-23-2014, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default What next - need some help

Ok, so my car has been down for almost 2 months now. I have another car, so I haven't been pushing the issue, but it has been one thing after the next. I had tires go bad, so I went for an alignment and the shop pointed out that the camber was off and so I got new tie rods, new control arms, etc. When I went to replace the tie rods, fluid came POURING out of the boots and I realized that my rack was bad. So, I ordered a rack, got it in, got the control arms and tie rods in, etc. I went to start the car and the starter spun but no cranking from the engine.

So, I went to finish up the work I had replacing a coolant hose under the intake and replacing my spider hose....and tried starting the car again. Nothing.

My starter turns and I hear it spinning - but there is NO sound of cranking or anything. I have had the car up on jacks with the front end elevated quite a bit for over a month. I haven't started looking into this too deeply, but is there anything obvious you guys can think of?

It is so strange, the car suddenly seems cursed...
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:10 AM   #2
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Clarify. The solenoid does not engage at all? Or does it engage bit the motor spins freely (which i have had when flooded and the lifters for some reason do not pressurize for a while)?

If it really doesn't engage you have a bad solenoid, or if there is a separate connection a loose one. Did you replace it with the starter motor?

Sounds like a bad few months.

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Old 05-24-2014, 04:25 AM   #3
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Clarify. The solenoid does not engage at all? Or does it engage bit the motor spins freely (which i have had when flooded and the lifters for some reason do not pressurize for a while)?

If it really doesn't engage you have a bad solenoid, or if there is a separate connection a loose one. Did you replace it with the starter motor?

Sounds like a bad few months.

Grant
Thanks for the response Grant. The motor does not sound like it is spinning at all. The starter seems like it is spinning freely. I have not replaced the starter or touched anything related to it that I am aware of....
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:03 AM   #4
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If you need a starter, I probably have one that I can sell cheap.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:08 AM   #5
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Thanks 4D4 - I am going to try to do some diagnosis today. Any suggestions on diagnosing? I am going to look at my Bentley ...but that is often lacking.

How much do you want for the starter? I haven't ever done a starter in this car, but I believe I have to pull the alternator first, correct? So service position, alternator, starter?
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:10 AM   #6
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Also, could the fact that I have the nose of the car way up in the air be part of the issue?
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
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Ok, so I've done some more looking and it really sounds like the engine is NOT spinning but the starter is - but I am wrong. I opened the oil cap and I can see the cams spinning. So I guess I can rule out the starter.

I then pulled a spark plug and was surprised at the amount of oil that was in the valley. I changed the valve cover and associated gaskets about 20-30K miles ago, but I guess the spider hose issues may have blown some seals while it was happening.

I pulled a spark plug and grounded it to the valve cover and had definite spark.

My bet is the plugs are so fouled with oil from sitting their they aren't sparking while they are in the engine?

I'm thinking it is time for a new valve cover job (sucks since I did it with the belt not so long ago....) and then put it together and re-assess.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:04 AM   #8
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Nothing really. If the starter spins, it's getting power. I'll see what I have for starters. I'm thinking $25 plus shipping.

Yes, alternator must come out first. :-(
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:50 PM   #9
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Thanks 4D4 - it turns out I was wrong. I could only crank the car myself before, so my diagnosis was just based on sound. The engine is turning over when the key is turned, so I think that eliminates the starter, correct? I can see the cams turn through the oil filler hole.

It looks like the failed spider hose probably blew the newish valve cover gasket seals and I have massive amounts of oil going into the spark plug valley. I am GUESSING that when I had the car running I was burning it off and it wasn't causing a major issue. Now that it sat for almost 2 months, I think I probably flooded the engine with oil.....just guessing though...
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:29 PM   #10
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That sounds better. Original scenario was uncommon.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:47 AM   #11
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Ok, so I've done some more looking and it really sounds like the engine is NOT spinning but the starter is - but I am wrong. I opened the oil cap and I can see the cams spinning. So I guess I can rule out the starter.

I then pulled a spark plug and was surprised at the amount of oil that was in the valley. I changed the valve cover and associated gaskets about 20-30K miles ago, but I guess the spider hose issues may have blown some seals while it was happening.

Any other thoughts?
I was just thinking about your status the other day when I was putting my control arms in my car. Glad to hear you got stuff together, not so glad that it's not starting. How bad was it putting in the power steering rack? Also, I'm about to replace the spider hose and related items. During the replacement, did anything else break that should be on hand so I don't get stuck without the car?

Last time I changed my spark plugs, about 3k ago, I also had some oil on most of them. Definitely time for a valve cover gasket/seals but I want to make sure I don't have any breather assembly issues first that will blow them out again.
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:28 AM   #12
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The spider hose is the most likely thing to break I think when you are putting it back in - be careful. I've done it a dozen times on two cars over the years and it is still tricky to squeeze it back in there and I always feel like I'm about to break something.

There is a pancake valve that connects 4 hoses on the rear driver's side of the upper intake - one of the hoses is a hard plastic line that goes over the valve covers...be careful with that hard plastic hose and that pancake valve. They snap easily.

The power steering rack would have been a 1 hour job if it were not for this ONE bolt that they put in a black hole that you can't reach. It took me forever to get the bolt out, and forever to get the bolt back in. It was one of the least fun jobs I've done on this car, and I have replaced 2 heads on my mom's Audi.
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:29 AM   #13
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That sounds better. Original scenario was uncommon.
I'm glad you somewhat concur - I'm scratching my head a little on this one. It started fine up until a couple weeks ago. I had the battery out of the car for most of the time too, and it is still showing over 12V on the meter - but even connecting my portable jumper doesn't get the car to start cranking.

I got some new gaskets yesterday and will tear into the gaskets today and hopefully get her going....this has turned into quite the journey.
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:10 AM   #14
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Sounds like a bad solenoid then. Generally part of the assembly with starter.

Solenoid is the e/m activated mechanism that moves the starter gear into mesh with the flywheel when you turn the key, and before the started begins to spin. With dying batteries its the click you hear

Looks like 4d4 has one for ya.

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Old 05-25-2014, 02:03 PM   #15
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Got her started! I replaced the valve cover gaskets (but not the cam seals or cam adjuster seals, because they were not available this weekend and the work involved wasn't going to be worth it in my mind...if oil leaks OUT of the engine, I can monitor it until the next timing belt change.

At any rate, I took the plugs out and they were pretty heavily covered in oil - both the tip and the electrode side. There was such a pool of oil in the plug valley of each cylinder, my initial idea was that the oil filled the valley and then seeped into the cylinder around the plug threads - but these should be pretty air tight so that thinking must be wrong....I'm concerned that my rings or my valve stem seals are letting oil pass into the cylinder. My guess is that the clogged breather system could have screwed up the valve stem seals - should this be a concern?

Once I got the plugs out I decided to throw in new plugs after I did the gaskets, and after that I cranked away on it with the peddle pressed to the floor for a while. At one point is coughed like it was going to turn over and then stalled....I let it sit for a while and kept at it and it finally started up, with the power steering pump making a horrible racket. I feel relieved that at least she is going again, now I can put it all back together and flush out the rack and get it back on the road tomorrow!
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:13 PM   #16
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Are you experiencing the blue smoke of death at start up?
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:22 PM   #17
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Yes, it was smoking a bit at startup, but after letting it run for about 1-2 minutes it pretty much died down. I had a clogged breather hose, so now that I'm thinking of it, the pressure could have been forcing oil everywhere. Maybe once I burn though what is in their, the valve seals will be OK - but I suspect this is optimism at its finest. Not sure what I will do if I'm leaking that much oil internally to the engine...
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:09 AM   #18
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Firstly I think you were confusing people when you said the car wasnt cranking. I think what you meant was the car wasnt firing .. "Cranking" means the Crank shaft is turning , as it was as your cams were turning.

Anyway sounds like you will have to just run it now and see . Was your spider hose completely clogged ? That is unusual. Or maybe I missed soemthing. Did you just break it while reapiring our venting system.

Regardless now, going into the engine wil be expensive. Just get it running and limit the amout of coin and effort you are throwing at the car.

Good Luck and I hope your smoke and issues both clear up
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:05 AM   #19
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Firstly I think you were confusing people when you said the car wasnt cranking. I think what you meant was the car wasnt firing .. "Cranking" means the Crank shaft is turning , as it was as your cams were turning.

Anyway sounds like you will have to just run it now and see . Was your spider hose completely clogged ? That is unusual. Or maybe I missed soemthing. Did you just break it while reapiring our venting system.

Regardless now, going into the engine wil be expensive. Just get it running and limit the amout of coin and effort you are throwing at the car.

Good Luck and I hope your smoke and issues both clear up
Yes, there was some confusion on my part at first and I think some people missed the corrected post. At first I thought the starter was spinning and the engine not cranking, because that is what it sounded like when I sat in the car and turned the ignition switch. Then, when I finally got someone to hit the ignition for me I realized I was wrong and it was cranking - but I think everyone missed that update....

The breather hose was pretty clogged, and I was blowing smoke on really cold days. I started it again today and it actually ran much better. It misfired a little at first, but a lot of the noises were gone and it smoothed out nicely and the power steering wasn't making so much noise.

I also thought about the spark plugs some more and it is near impossible to tell if the oil was INSIDE the engine. There was so much oil in the valley, it could have been getting on the threads as I was unscrewing it, making it look like they were covered in oil, but the oil was really just coming from the valley.....maybe more wishful thinking....but I think you are right, the best thing to do is wait and see. If I have to do valve stem seals, it'll at least have to wait until I do the timing belt change again (if ever - I have 265,000 on the car).
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:14 AM   #20
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Yes, there was some confusion on my part at first and I think some people missed the corrected post. At first I thought the starter was spinning and the engine not cranking, because that is what it sounded like when I sat in the car and turned the ignition switch. Then, when I finally got someone to hit the ignition for me I realized I was wrong and it was cranking - but I think everyone missed that update....

The breather hose was pretty clogged, and I was blowing smoke on really cold days. I started it again today and it actually ran much better. It misfired a little at first, but a lot of the noises were gone and it smoothed out nicely and the power steering wasn't making so much noise.

I also thought about the spark plugs some more and it is near impossible to tell if the oil was INSIDE the engine. There was so much oil in the valley, it could have been getting on the threads as I was unscrewing it, making it look like they were covered in oil, but the oil was really just coming from the valley.....maybe more wishful thinking....but I think you are right, the best thing to do is wait and see. If I have to do valve stem seals, it'll at least have to wait until I do the timing belt change again (if ever - I have 265,000 on the car).
the oil in the valley did NOT go into the cyliders and burn... you have one oftwo sceanarios.

1. The oil in the valley was shorting out yor plugs somehow so it couldnt run on all cylinders. when you did start it eventually you were burning of all the crap from the attempted starts.
2. You do in fact have internal issues that are totally unrelated to your gaskets and oil on the spark plug wells.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:14 AM
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