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Old 09-23-2005, 04:40 PM   #1
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Blown Engine Questions

Hi,
I have a thread about my blown engine at Blown Engine .I have a few questions now regarding what my mechanic is telling me.

The mechanic claims to have found 2 gallons of antifreeze in my crankcase when he drained the oil.It took him 6 weeks to tell me this after pulling engine from car.He did not drain the oil first and tell me before pulling the engine.Now,I am looking at a $9000 for installation of a rebuilt engine.According to him,if we did do the headgasket,the engine would seeze up in 10 seconds becouse the bearings are soft and would have absorbed the antifreeze.

Any ideas??? Opinion??? Help???

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Old 09-23-2005, 05:22 PM   #2
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Frank:

Your situation sucks. I feel sorry for you. I think you have a quack mechanic. I am a firm believer that "quality never cost more" and "poor quality will cost you more"!

I think when you started this thread, you should have taken your car to a quality repair facility, like one of the multiple Porsche dealers in your great state of New Jersey.

Part of your "costs" the past 6 weeks have been:

frustration
your valuable time
lack of driving your new car
possibly a more expensive repair bill due to waiting

...just to name a few.

Next time don't let your freaking cousin drive your car. Have him practive on another family members car.

Have you asked him to cough-up $4,500 yet?....this is his share of the bill!

I hope you are mobile soon!
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Old 09-23-2005, 05:50 PM   #3
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Sounds like you need a PROFESSIONAL second opinion. In these cases, we cannot help you (as much as we would like to).

Find a pro and ask him your options. The diagnosis sounds pretty shaky to me.

Good luck!

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Old 09-23-2005, 07:58 PM   #4
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Hi,

It would be wise to consult another Service Shop or a Dealer, to compare diagnoses, prices and any alternatives.

But, if you had a headgasket leak, it is likely that coolant contaminated the oil system. Ethylene Glycol, Water and Oil will emulsify into a Gooey Mayonaise. This is definitely a problem. The main two being that you may clog the oil galleries and/or risk Hydro-Locking the engine, as one poster somewhat alluded to.

So far as the bearings being soft and absorbing the mix, I do not see how that is possible. Bearing shells are soft, in fact, they're usually a laminate of soft metals such as Lead, Copper and Brass on a Steel backing. This is so when there is Metal-to-Metal contact with the Journal Shells, Big-End Bearing Shells and the Crankshaft (such as immediately upon start-up), the soft metal of the bearing shells do not score the Crankshaft and in fact provide some level of Dry Lubrication to it until the Oil is pressurized sufficiently to 'Float' the Crankshaft.

But, I have never known any of these Metals to be water absorbant. In fact, Motor Oil normally absorbs and contains water (which is a natural Combustion by-product) and it's not unusual for the oil to contain as much as 2% water just prior to being changed, so the bearings do have some contact with it anyway.

That said, a much higher concentration of water or water/glycol could cause the Steel backing of the bearing shells to corrode and cause the soft metal laminates to separate from it, which would be bad. The only sure way to assess the level of damage, and to clean the oil galleries, is to disassemble the motor. I am not so familiar with the M96 engine in the Boxster, and so do not know if other methods are possible, although I suspect removing the Sump Pan would allow you to visually inspect the Journals and Shells for corrosion and possibly give access to the Oil Galleries as well.

But, I do have extensive experience rebuilding Lotus 910 Engines in Esprits (I've rebuilt 10 of them, including my own), Datsun L-24, L-26 and L-28 Engines and the 1.3L VW engine in my Formula Vee and have come across this issue with several of them. The first, we (owner and I) totally disassembled the motor, cleaned the oil galleries and found some corrosion as I mentioned above. We ended up doing a full rebuild to it.

Subsequently, another friend's Esprit had a minor headgasket leak (noted by the presence of Mayonaise on the Dipstick). At his insistence, we only replaced the headgasket and flushed 2 fills of fresh oil through his system, running each for 300 and 200 miles respectively. The second batch came out virtually clean. We refilled it and to date, the owner has put 8,000 trouble-free miles on it. But, it was a risk, never having visually determined the degree of corrosion which may have taken place, but one which the owner chose to assume (I wouldn't have).

Back to your issue. First, I lack confidence in your Mechanic for not checking the oil until this late date, especially when the Headgasket was suspect. It should have been at least the second thing he checked, perhaps after a Leakdown or Coolant System Pressure Tests. Second, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he may just be poor at explaining the bearing issue. If not, it's another sign that he isn't so knowledgeable. Both of these things combined would have me looking for another Service Shop to do the work. Finally, $9k for a motor rebuild may, or may not, be the going rate in your area. But new or reconditioned Boxster Engines can be had for as little as $5k (plus installation). It's surprising that he didn't offer this alternative to you, but something you might consider nonetheless. Good Luck!

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 09-24-2005, 06:47 AM   #5
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To add to Jim's last point, I believe a newly reconditoned engine direct from Porsche with warranty can be had for under 5K.

Beware of your mechanic!

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Old 09-24-2005, 05:02 PM   #6
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Frank...I believe you have a cracked engine block , when coolant is found in the engine oil usually means that there is a leak from one of the chambers that lubricates the engine to one of the passages that cools the engine with coolant (or antigel for that matter) like from one of the piston walls.

I agree with the above explanation in the fact that metals can't "absorb" coolant, however if you have to replace the engine block, might as well get the rest of the trimmings new as well, you'll definitely feel better knowing your bottom end is up to par.
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:02 PM   #7
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I appreciates everyones help.I am still decideing what is to be done.

I spoke with a guy my dad knows who restores old porsches to brand new condition and he said that the amount of smoke I got is normal and the atifreeze found in the oil does not imply anything cracked as that is a normal amount to get sucked in at roughly 5000 rpms.

I am thinking my best option may be to tell him to put the car back together the way it was and go buy a newer lower mile boxster.

How much do you think I could sell it for?It has 85000 mile and is in good condition
with a blown head gasket but may or may not need a new engine.It has a 6 disk changer,sport package,and tiptronic tranny that shifts like brand new.I was hoping for $14,000 to 15,000 . Is that reasonable,to high, to low???
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank
I appreciates everyones help.I am still decideing what is to be done.

I spoke with a guy my dad knows who restores old porsches to brand new condition and he said that the amount of smoke I got is normal and the atifreeze found in the oil does not imply anything cracked as that is a normal amount to get sucked in at roughly 5000 rpms.

I am thinking my best option may be to tell him to put the car back together the way it was and go buy a newer lower mile boxster.

How much do you think I could sell it for?It has 85000 mile and is in good condition
with a blown head gasket but may or may not need a new engine.It has a 6 disk changer,sport package,and tiptronic tranny that shifts like brand new.I was hoping for $14,000 to 15,000 . Is that reasonable,to high, to low???
Hi,

Your resale is tough to gauge not knowing the MY of the car.

I think you may have heard your Dad's friend wrong. There should never be a normal circumstance which sucks Coolant into the Oil. Exactly where would it get sucked from? What would impart this vacuum energy to the coolant? No, coolant in the Oil is positively a sign of a major problem, usually the headgasket. Rarely, but possibly from a crack as mentioned.

With a Blown Headgasket, your resale will be very low because the new owner will need to spend $$ to get it fixed and will want the car discounted well below what you can fix it for.

If selling, get the repair (just the Headgasket and a coolant/Oil change) and then sell it. You'll recoup your money that way.

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:20 PM   #9
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Now assuming I went with Jim's suggestion and did just the head gasket.What is the chances of the car running and it not having any damage after sitting for that long, or just seezing up in seconds.Do I have odds in my favor?

What is a reasonable sale price the way it is (reassembled)?
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Old 09-25-2005, 06:04 AM   #10
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Supply year, miles, options, condition, and color. Pix would help.
I would be happy to try to place a value on the car.

I would concur with Jim. AF in the oil indicates a breach. If you are lucky, it is the head gasket. Get it fixed, have the guy flush the oiling system, fresh oil and prayer.

Trying to sell this car the way it is will not fly. You will take it in the shorts.

Why-the buyer will assume it needs a new engine and price accordingly.

Get to a real mechanic soon! Our advice can only take you so far.

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Old 09-25-2005, 06:22 AM   #11
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1999

85000 miles

Options-sport package,tiptronic transmission,6 disk changer,wind reducer/stop between role bars.

Good Condition-(few dings and minor scratches,i assume they are normal for a 6 year old car)Interior looks very good.Minor scratches on wheels,nothing big.Car ran and shifted like a brand new car before incedent.Never in an accident.

Black w/ black top and tan interior.


Also,from what you guys are saying,it sounds like you think I have chances in my favor of the engine running again after a head gasket and not needing to be replaced assuming nothing cracked.Is that correct?

Last edited by Frank; 09-25-2005 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 09-25-2005, 08:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank
1999 -...Also,from what you guys are saying,it sounds like you think I have chances in my favor of the engine running again after a head gasket and not needing to be replaced assuming nothing cracked.Is that correct?
Hi,

I'd say your chances are good, but with such a long-distance diagnosis, no guarantees can be made and you shouldn't look at it that way.

BTW, your sale price seems a little optimistic to me. I bought my '99 in April. One-owner, 17k mi., Flawless Paint, no dings, chips, scratches - not one!, 18" Turbos w/ 95% Pirelli Rossos - perfect no blemishes on wheels or tires, 6-disc changer, Tan Leather, TipS, Cruise, Windstop Pkg., Body Colored Roll Bar (Guards Red) Upgraded Exhaust Tip, Carbon Fibre monogrammed Door Sills, Window Pillow, Bra w/ Mirror Bras, Fresh OIl, Tranny Fluid Change (0 mi.), New Battery, 2- Remote Keys, Full Owners Manual Packet and Full 15 volume Factory Service Manuals, PPI and CarFax (deducted from Purchase Price) w/ no accident history and I paid only $19,500 for it. I have seen similar ones in the $22-$24 range. You have to gauge whether your car is priced properly when comparing to this. Of course, I think I got a better than average deal on a better than average car. Check the Edmunds, Kelly BlueBook and eBay, also your local market as prices tend to regionalize.

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 09-26-2005, 03:38 PM   #13
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My mechanic also told me that the engine was definetly out before as he sees hoses where off before that would only come off when taking out the engine.My car was bought new by first owner (i'm 3rd) in December of 98 so it would fall into the category of a possible sleeved engine that could have been replaced under warrany.(1st owner sold it when 4 years old right when waranty went up.)Tommarro,I plan to call the porsche dealer it was bought at (Huntington Porsche in NY) and ask if the engine was replaced under warranty or what was done.

Now,if the is a second engine replaced under warranty,what additional warranty would porsche have givven them on this engine or none?

I appreciate evryones time and knolage.Thankyou


(Brucelee,any idea on value w/ blown head gasket)
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Old 10-03-2005, 10:52 AM   #14
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Frank, have you got your Boxster back yet? What did you decide to do?
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Old 10-03-2005, 04:20 PM   #15
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Hi,
Today was a bad day for me and my box.To start with,on thursday; I decided to go ahead with the head gasket and see what would happen.They did not seem happy that I did not want to replace the engine.I said,if they won't do the head job,just put the car back the way it was.He said he refuses to put it back the way it was.Today,I got a call from the owner of the shop saying he does not like me questioning his mechanic and telling him how to do his job.He said he took off the head and confirmed that the engine is blown.He sais he found the piston ring broke into many peices and the ring went through the entire engine including the exaust manifold making that entire side basically fried.(now,when I tried to start the engine whed it first happened;it sounded normal like it could start,I had no metal noises at any point or any noises to imly somehting like thid happened so if probably didn't.)He the sais he will not work on my car and wants me to come pick everything up(I kinda laugh at this point).

This is what I found on my answering machine at my office this morning.We have been communicating using my cell then entire time but I guess he didn't want to talk to me so he called my office on the weekend.

I guess this confirms that he is trying to rip me off

So,I followed up be giving him a letter (and sending a copy certified mail) saying that he took my engine out without my permision and never game me an estimate to sign(NJ law sais you must get a signed estimate to start work).Then saying I want him to put my car back together like when I brought it to him with it turning over, and call me when it is done.then saying,I will not be paying him for his time. I plan on taking this as far as necessary to get my car back and running.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions other then I'm getting screwed.

Thanks,
Frank
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Old 10-03-2005, 04:57 PM   #16
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If it were me, I'd cut my losses and get it as far away from that mechanic as possible. Get the engine put in the back of a pick-up and have the car towed to the guy your dad knows for evaluation since he knows a good bit about Porsches. Keep the message on your phone and have him sign a release for you to take the car and engine at no charge. You will never get him to put the engine back in since it took him 8-9 weeks to get this far when he was hoping for a job that would pay him back for the time.

I'm with everyone else as far as trying to sell it before having it fixed properly. Nobody will buy it for a decent price while thinking it may need a new engine. I'd put the Porsche rebuilt in that was suggested before and sell the one you have to a rebuilder (unless the $5K price includes swapping it for your engine) or keep the engine and rebuild it over time and have a spare.

Good luck!
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:18 PM   #17
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Frank,

This a bad situation that is getting worse. Sorry this is happening to you man.

My advice is as follows:

#1 - Loose the mechanic who currently has the car. He has displayed way to many behaviors that indicate he does not have your best interest at heart and that he is not competent to work on your car.

#2 Stop with the certified mail. All you are going to do is piss him off. Instead, once you get the car back and are far away from this guy, report the incident to the authority having jurisdiction (in CA we have the Bureau of Automotive Repair). At least you can get your dissatisfaction on record and if enough other customers have complained, they may even do something about it. If you are going to go legal on him hire the best attorney you can find and be prepared to pay way more than what your out now in the way of aggravation pay. I have learned from my past legal battles that one must chose them wisely, and itís good to loose the urge to teach people a lesson. If you must sue, do so for money, not revenge. I have had the misfortune of having to sue a few people before and it really is absolutely no fun even when you win.

#3 Have a good mechanic that has a lot of experience working on Boxsters take a look at the car and provide you with a written estimate for repair. If you donít like the next one, get a third.

#4 Selling the car ďas isĒ is out of the question, you will be money ahead to get it repaired first, especially if you get away with just a head gasket.

Getting a factory reconditioned power plant installed may be the only answer if you intend to keep the car but that depends on how the next diagnosis come backÖ.

In any event best of luck to you with the problem.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:58 PM   #18
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Frank,

I'm sorry to hear things have gone so far south with this car. As suggested by others, I guess you should start thinking about cutting your losses.

If indeed you have a broken ring(s), as difficult as long-distance diagnoses are, I'd say that the leaky Headgasket caused the engine to Hydrolock. Whats Hydrolocking? Its when liquid gets into the cylinders of the engine and prevents compression from occuring. Since liquids are not readily compressible, the inertia of the Crankshaft (if engine is running) or even the torque of a Starter motor is sufficient to cause the problem. As the Piston tries to compress the liquid, the weakest part of the system (usually the rings), will break, sometimes even a Piston, ConRod, or even the Cylinder can crack from the very high pressures created. The liquid essentially acts as a Brake, stopping all the reciprocating gear very suddenly, and with great shock to all the components.

After re-reading your initial post, I am about 85% certain this is what happened, especially at the upper RPMs you describe. Cranking the engine later may not have exacerbated the problem, but it certainly didn't help. You can be sure the Shop will claim this.

My suggestion is to file suit in Small Claims Court for the amount the Shop wants to bill you. This will prevent them filing a Mechanic's Lien on the Car which could cause you all sorts of trouble. Then argue your points before a judge.

I have to tell you though, I am not very optimistic. There are lots of poor mechanics out there, no crime in that. In great part, it's up to the Consumer to weed them out, a' la Caveat Emptor. Your only points really are the delay involved and the lack of skill in diagnosing the issue, which, except for stating the Bearings were saturated/contaminated, may actually prove to be fairly accurate - I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this.

Even your Family Friend, who is a longstanding Porsche Mechanic, may have gotten this one wrong, as it sounds as if his experience is mainly with the Air-Cooled models, and a Headgasket issue with the Air-Cooled Cars presents a whole different set of issues.

You may not have actually instructed him to remove the engine, but he could just as easily argue that it was the only way to fully diagnose the problem. If you said something like "fix It" or "I'd like to know what the problem was" your permission was arguably implicit. Also, if this is part of the established procedure when a HeadGasket failure is suspected on the Boxster, he may have been justified in doing what he did.

Don't consider repairing the existing motor, it'll be waay too expensive and you won't have any warranty should you decide to sell the car. Go with a Factory, warranted, replacement engine. Call your local Dealer for details.

Again, my sympathies. It can only get better from here.

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99

PS Did you get a PPI before buying this car? If so, any recourse there? Any proper PPI should include a Leakdown Test, and this should have caught a leaky Headgasket, which is usually a progressive failure. Just a thought...Good Luck!

Last edited by MNBoxster; 10-03-2005 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:22 PM   #19
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I agree with the above postings.....sometimes it's better off o fight this thing from a distance, or you might end up in a loosing battle and no car......Sorry this turned out to be such a nightmare....

PD.

....If all else fails, I know some "compadres" in south Bronx that can make you car problem "go away". ...(just kidding). Hope you fix that soon dude...
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Old 10-04-2005, 03:57 PM   #20
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No,I regret not getting the PPI now but who wouldn't.If a ring broke,wouldn't I hear a not average noise such as metal when I turned it over?

Also,if it was hydrolocked,does that mean as it sounds that the engine is locked meaning it woudn't be ab;e to be turned over?

Everyone keeps referring to a $5000.00 rebuilt engine w/ warranty form porsche.How would I get one of them?I contacted my stealership and they said $12,000 for a rebuild engine installed.What is the warranty w/ the engine?
Frank


Last edited by Frank; 10-04-2005 at 04:45 PM.
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