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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting a new thread from the 2nd Gen "water pump" thread I was on. The car is a 01' Intrepid SE w/ 2.7 &143K miles. I installed a new water pump about 40K ago and was running mav'alously until the noise @60 mph. (please refer to my prior posts on the 2nd Gen. "water pump" thread (pgs. 4-5). After removing the oil pan I found the metal pieces at the bottom and in the pick-up screen. In an attempt to narrow down what happened I'm tearing the engine down until I find, One; what the original problem was and Two; what got torn up. I separated the issues cause' I'm not 100% sure they're related cause' I don't know what caused what. Anyway I took some pics of the pieces that someone may recognize or have a clue where they lived before the mechanical turmoil. I also added a pic of the chain and timing cover as they were when removed. Those items along with the windage tray (or splash plate if you will) and the general crank area were clean with no immediate evidence of damage. I did, however, freak a little when I saw the machined "scallops" taken from block from where the bores emanate. I figured the engineers had an "oh' s*&t" moment when they found that the crank wouldn't clear the block or they were going to prep the block to stroke it, e.g. 383. The rod pic I think is of the #6 (furthest back anyway) which is the only one that seems to have more side play than the others but not much. None seem to have any up & down play but I haven't rotated the crank yet to get back under and check. (I don't slide under cars nearly as well as I used to) they're posted here only to show what they looked like when first seen.
The metal pieces are all similar in that they are magnetic, thin and flexible. They were crumpled up and I straighten them out as best I could. The smaller pieces were scraped out of the oil pick-up screen and seem to be of the same material but really pulverized.
If anyone has a clue to what this stuff is I'd appreciate anything. One thought was that a rod bearing failed but I hasn't seen any evidence of it visually. Not that I'd be able know anyway. I'd think there would be some residue around the rod/crank journal area. But if it spun I might not know for sure till' I take it apart. Was thinking if a bearing spun it could block the oil passage and cause great woe and despair.
Anyway, for what it's worth, any comments or other discussions/opinions would be appreciated.
Thanks
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Windage tray chunks?
 

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I would get a new Short Block at least and dump that disaster as fast as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In the interest of...oh'... people like us I will certainly post whatever I find. I like to know I'm in company of others who like these cars. I've been thinking about how those pieces got there and the dynamics of a running engine and oiling system. The pieces were obviously chewed up by some moving part. The screen did it's job and held them. The photos were just to illustrate what the internals looked like when exposed for the first time. Nothing obvious. However they could have come from the internals of oil pump itself. I know, I can't imagine how but it's got to come out anyway. I'll know much more in an hour or so when I get it off.
Thanks all for your interest
I'll be back
 

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What do the timing chain guides look like? If that's bearing material...there's a lot of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ronbo, as well as Peva, thanks for your input. This is a good one that could apply, generally, to any car engine. The guides are out and no visible damage. BTW the tensioner was doing it's job, extended and no "clicking" from chain slack when I manually cranked it over to the marks. Tight all the way around the three-four total revolutions it took to line everything up. Maybe 70-80 ratchet strokes @ 15-20 degrees a stroke. Got the oil pump out and on the vise. Fortunately it's "disassemblable" and I was just gathering up my hex stuff when I decided to go in and rest my back and get the phone/camera. Started getting back issues a couple months ago and engines are in the worst position for it. I'll be back.
 

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"I'll be back." no pun intended . . .

A chiropractor I used to go to had a doormat at the entrance of her office that said "Glad to see your back!"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wasn't sure I believed in chiropractors but walked out from one convinced after going once. Not even sure if he's still in practice it was so long ago. BUT here is what I found disassembling the oil pump. The rotors (Wankel looking things) have rough edges as well as the inside surfaces of the housing have fingernail rough scratches. The pressure relief thing (cylinder) had to be pushed a little to get it out from it's full up position but was smooth after about 3/8" of "push" w/a piece of wire. I can't quite figure out how it works with it's different cut-outs. If it was "stuck" in the full up (spring pushing in the full up position when at rest) I'm not 100% sure what that would do as I'm guessing pressure demand is supposed to push it down to allow flow. In any case, it'll be replaced w/OEM as it doesn't look or feel right.
BTW while rotating the crank there was no abnormal feel. There is no residue in the cam areas and nothing in the cylinders that could be retrieved w/a magnet stick. I thought I'd ck' since they have steel sleeves.
Tomorrow I'll put on the overalls to get underneath while rotating the crank to see if there's anything loose involving the rod/crank. Was banking on the oil pump today and that may very well have been the issue if the relief was stuck in no pressure mode as well as the scraping marks.
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IMG_0867.JPG IMG_0866.JPG In any case I'm gonna' have to figure a good way to flush the oil galleries.
As always, thanks for the interest
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thought I'd advise of the latest in case anyone was watching.
I never have discovered where the metal came from despite asking every source I could think of so I'm just gonna' clean it up and put it back together. The #6 rod sliding from side to side more than the others prompted me to take the cap off to ck' the bearing. Turned out it was like new. No scraping or discoloration. It also relieved my thoughts of where the metal pieces went. I cut the oil filter open and am hoping it caught most, if not all , of the tiny pieces. It had some micro size shinny pieces in it. BTW I couldn't find any specs for allowable side motion for the rod to crank installation. Pretty much is normal to have some motion.
Got a new oil pump and installed it with a healthy dose of assembly lube inside. A new OEM oil pump was $280 and as much as I wanted to buy it I concluded that this whole thing might not even work since I still don't know the source of the metal so I got a cheaper one from a supplier I trust. I have read here about a thin metal gasket behind the water pump that is supposed to be removed if you change the pump that can be easily missed as it blends in with the block. I didn't remember if there was one when I changed the pump 40K miles ago so I took the pump off thinking it could have been the source of the metal. But, alas, there was nothing there. Might have stuck to the old pump or was never there in the first place. Just another difference in the engine models I guess. On that subject I wanted to advise to anyone who takes off the windage tray under the crank that they can also be different from engine year to engine year. I stopped fingering the bolts for the windage tray because I had a funny feeling and wasn't sure which way it went when I removed it and it took awhile to find the correct 2.7 illustration. It turned out I almost installed it it backwards.
The rubber edge of the oil pan gasket was separating from the metal part so I'm putting a thin film of Permatex 2 on the mating surface with oil pan bolts holding the metal gasket part of the gasket in place. I got the rubber parts to stick to where it was when I removed the pan. I'll do the same with the timing cover gaskets. I'm also putting in a new coolant bleeder since the "new" one I replaced years ago stopped sealing at the bleeder screw. I didn't get the cool aluminum one for the same reason as the oil pump but this one seals tight after "testing" it. I'm also reinstalling the original chain, sprockets and tensioner since, as I've written, they are just fine.
It's in the high 90's and low 100's here in the high desert so I'm taking my time. Ain't gonna' stroke out for a car. Unless it was a G5 Vette' (my favorite gen.) then I'd risk it. I'm also in the middle of remodeling the kitchen so I'm pacing myself.
I'll advise again when it's back together and how it acts. Thanks for any and all thoughts on the metal pieces and any other help with this.
 

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I'm glad to hear that you could not find any evidence of damage to the engine but that is a real head scratcher regarding where it came from. Are there any passage ways where big shaved pieces of metal could have made there way down from the heads?
 

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That is odd - can you see any debris denting on any of the running surfaces of the cam, crank, chain, etc? That might be a clue to where this came from.

Those pieces of debris got 'ran' over by something. Where did that happen is what is the odd thing. Let's see what happens with your afterwards repairs. Hoping for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cruise and Scooter thanks for your input. I've scoured the open head area for ANY clue. Nothing is evident. I might add that the bigger pieces of "stuff" were "unfolded" from the state they were in.
It's cooler today so I'm hoping I can get much more accomplished.
Oh' and I haven't spotted anything that could go through any oil ports. The heads are open and I've got a good view of everything and, visually anyway, haven't found anything out of order. But it may be staring me right in the face. I hate that.
I'll be back. I write paragraphs and then delete them for going on too long. This forum is my therapy.
Again Thanks to all for your interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
These are the events that try men's souls. When I took off the windage tray after removing the oil pan I carefully put the eight bolts in a clean plastic pail (previously occupied with ice cream) with some new oil to keep them separate and clean. When I installed the tray yesterday (almost pointed the wrong way) I put the "bolt pail" within arms reach (I was on my back) and fingered the eight bolts out of the pail one at a time to install and torque them to the 20 lb. + 1/4 turn. I then installed the oil pan. I did it the hard way by keeping the gaskets on the block. I figured since they were mostly stuck there I'd just permatex them if they started to detach and fall. (they did). I then installed the "structural member" thing (thank you again Pev) and torqued it to the 40 lb. BUT when I got up I grabbed the pail and saw something that made me say, "darn!", or something like that. There were two extra shorter bolts of unknown origin. Unknown because I don't remember taking them off while underneath. Even when I put a straight edge to the long bolts to ck' for necking I didn't notice the two shorter ones. When I undid the #6 rod cap to ck' for damage I looked at it and then immediately reinstalled and torqued IMG_0889.JPG IMG_0887.JPG it so nothing got dirty so I'm 99% sure they aren't from that. I'll undoubtedly see where they belong eventually IF they don't go inside the bottom of the engine. The eight windage tray bolts were much longer maybe 5 in. These are about 1 1/2 -2 in. (ref; pics) but are graded. I haven't found a good enough image to identify them but I'll keep looking. If anyone knows where they live I'd be much obliged. If I have to take the pan off again no big deal. I'll do it the easier way. But I want to avoid it if possible.
Again thanks for your interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ya' know...disregard. I still haven't discovered what the thing was that got torn up and dumped into the oil pan and started this whole thing. Besides I taking waaaaay too long. I remember doing things like this in two days. Of course the parts places were within two-three miles back then and I had a real garage.
I'm gonna' install the gears and chain so I can seriously rotate it with the pan and tray off (again, but it's not hard at all) to look once and for all. It's got to be something in there. Whatever it was got crunched up and "fell" into the oil and clogged the screen and started the whole drama. I'm pretty sure it didn't come down the oil galleries. Even folded up, as some were, they were just too big. This forum is therapy and gets me to quit messing around and get it done. Darn it, these are good cars.
Thanks to anyone reading
 

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Particularly since you haven't been able to find the source of the errant material, I would include on the list of possibilities that it was machining chips (perhaps sitting in a less visible recess) that weren't cleared and made it thru the assembly process.

I know that there were reports on the 300M forums of a certain period of production from which a bolus of some of the materials used in the sand casting process of the block was left in (or eventually accumulated and lodged in) a certain curvey and hard-to-reach area of the coolant galleys (leading to the heads or one of the heads) which led to very marginal cooling and a very-hard-to-diagnose overheating condition. (IIRC, the problem was only on 300M Special engines - not sure why that would be unless the Special blocks were made/processed on a different line.)

The cause of the problem wasn't discovered until finally one owner with the overheating problem discovered the debris in his engine when, having exhausted all other possible causes, stuck something into that passage, only to meet obstruction, and was able to dislodge some of the material (it was impacted in such a way that he could not clear the passage). Subsequently, from other owners that had the same pernicious overheating problem and checked and found the same condition, they were able to determine an apparent approximate production period during which it was a problem.

So it is conceivable that a one-off or percentile-basis occurrence of process debris could get thru any production line, and that you won that lottery. Just proposing that as a possibility. Even if that isn't the case, it may help you to lie to yourself that that is the case so you can quit racking/wracking your brain about where it came from. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Peva, Thank you, as always, for your input. My mission today is to get the timing stuff installed so I can rotate the crank and look at as much of the cylinder walls as I can from underneath. I understand the cylinders are sleeved with steel and the pieces are steel (or at least magnetic) and I'll ck' if one got scraped for some reason. I not optimistic, I've stuck a small magnet into the spark plug openings and found nothing but gravity could have been at work here. Hopefully I'll know more later today.
Again, Thanks.
 

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⬆ am also interested with an 03' 2.7, recently replaced the waterpump at 76k miles 😮 very interested...
 

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truly looks like bearing shell, especially from the bluing on one end of the big pieces, and either bearing material or hardening from the cams that spalls off when they aren't taken care of properly.
as long as those things are good, should be fine.
could have happened early on in life and was repaired as well, but a sloppy job and wasn't cleaned properly before reassembly.
there aren't a lot of places that metal can come from.
oil pump shaving would end up more in passages and the filter.
maybe add some silver colouring in the oil if really fine.
and the large pieces aren't from rings.

did you change the water pump because it was leaking into the crankcase?
i didn't follow your pump thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Tan and Yev, thank you for your input; I love the bearing suggestion. Knowledge is power and I'm all for it in any situation. Allow me to offer my input to the contributions here. The water pump was changed about 40K ago. It's how we got the car in the first place. My wife and friend's wife were driving it when the engine temp started climbing fast. My wife knew to get the car safely off the road and turn it off as soon as practical. Ironically it was within 100 yards of where it started making the noise to which presented this whole discussion of mine. My friend and I towed it back to his house where we pulled the dip stick and saw the chocolate "milkshake" color and, of course, suspected the head gasket. I then got online and researched the situation and discovered the water pump issues. When I told our friends what I found they had already called to find out it would cost $1,700 to change the pump . I told him I'd do it for nothing. They were thinking of trading it in for a Chevy Impala and since the trade-in value was now squat they gave it to us and I changed the pump. (it's scary at first I know)
Fast Forward. Good suggestion about the bearings and cams. I removed them a couple weeks ago and saw no evidence of damage. But I'll look very closely again. The car has been maintained by me not just because I'm cheap (I am to a fault) and can do it but we are also 40 miles from any town of consequence. Yev makes a good point in that there is only so much steel in the darn thing. I keep forgetting to mention that I spoke to our friends and, since they had it since new, they said it did not need to have any major work done on the engine while they had it. In fact the car only had 87K when we got it.
I got the crank gear on last night and was trying to get the chain and sprockets on so I could rotate it and check out the cylinder walls w/oil pan removed.
If after everything I don't find anything I'll put in together and go with the idea the pieces were there from the manufacture. I would have done more but the kitchen remodel needs my attention as well as animals (pets, lots of them) , NASCAR Sunday (Go Truex and Johnson), negotiating the buying of a riding lawn mower (yeah' it's finally that time). In fact I've got to go pick it up right now. I'll be back when I have something to write about.
Thanks to all, I mean it.
 
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