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Old 03-15-2015, 04:19 PM   #1
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Dead Engine

Who wants to be first to jump in with their diagnosis of what happened?

On my drive home the other day engine lost all power and I had to coast to the side of the highway. After waiting 2 hours for a tow home I put on the code reader and got the following codes, P0300, P0301, P0303, P0306, P01313, P1315, P1318, P1319

Car has been running great with no warning anything was wrong.

Pulled the plugs today and 2 thru 6 looked good, but #1 is pictured below.




Any thoughts?
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:30 PM   #2
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What does the crown of the piston look like ?
Tried a cheap EBay endoscope to look through the spark plug hole? I use one that connects to my Laptop - great tool for little $.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:43 PM   #3
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I forgot to add details about my Boxster

1999 Base Boxster with 2.5l

80,218 mi
129,101 km
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:58 PM   #4
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Not a happy thought, but since total power failure, I'm going with IMS, and subsequent broken valve / cratered piston in #1 with the rest of the valves inoperative, but bending and not actually breaking on the pistons. #1 spark plug damage is the loose valve head beating the snot out of everything as the piston kicks it around. You might consider the inexpensive scope to check #1 out. Hope it's better than my first doom and gloom thought. Best of luck in this.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BC986Boxster View Post
Who wants to be first to jump in with their diagnosis of what happened?

On my drive home the other day engine lost all power and I had to coast to the side of the highway. After waiting 2 hours for a tow home I put on the code reader and got the following codes, P0300, P0301, P0303, P0306, P01313, P1315, P1318, P1319

Car has been running great with no warning anything was wrong.

Pulled the plugs today and 2 thru 6 looked good, but #1 is pictured below.




Any thoughts?
It looks like you have something bouncing around in the cylinder that closed down the plug. You need to bore scope that cylinder and see what is in there.
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:50 PM   #6
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Details on the year and model of the engine? Probably lost a valve seat, or the piston exploded, possibly a D chunk.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:04 PM   #7
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Details on the year and model of the engine? Probably lost a valve seat, or the piston exploded, possibly a D chunk.
Thanks for your input Jake

Engine is 99 2.5 L with 80,218 mi, 129,101 km

Oil changed 400 km ago and filter was clean of any metal
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:21 AM   #8
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Pull the engine, remove the cylinder head - and you will see what caused it. Maybe you're faster with an endoscope. But the engine has to be pulled anyway if you want to repair it, or if you want to exchange it.

Because the spark plug sits in a hole / indentation, there has to be something inside the cylinder. Don't think that a broken piston rod, or exploded piston will cause that.
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:24 AM   #9
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The end of the spark plug is flush with the chamber. Exploded pistons and collateral damage from cylinder failures will easily do this.
If the cylinder failed you'll have a crankcase thats filled with coolant as the two will intermix at the point where the cylinder fails.

Being a 99, the cylinders are inherently compromised. See if you find any blue paint marks on the crankcase from the factory. It almost looks like overspray.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:53 PM   #10
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Any news? I'm curious to know what has happened.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:34 PM   #11
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Any news? I'm curious to know what has happened.
Haven't had time to drop the engine, but once I do I'll post some pics
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:38 PM   #12
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The end of the spark plug is flush with the chamber. Exploded pistons and collateral damage from cylinder failures will easily do this.
If the cylinder failed you'll have a crankcase thats filled with coolant as the two will intermix at the point where the cylinder fails.

Being a 99, the cylinders are inherently compromised. See if you find any blue paint marks on the crankcase from the factory. It almost looks like overspray.
The oil and coolant seem fine

What would blue paint indicate?
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:40 PM   #13
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The oil and coolant seem fine

What would blue paint indicate?
Problem engines that don't pass the test at the factory are recycled & marked with blue paint, then rebuilt again until it passes the run in test. Unfortunately they often have more issues sooner or later. I would not buy a Porsche with a blue marked engine.
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:11 PM   #14
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Well finally got around to dropping the engine and here is what I found........not happy at all
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Last edited by BC986Boxster; 05-04-2015 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:36 AM   #15
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Is that an example of the infamous D chunk?
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:40 AM   #16
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What did the head look like? Did you drop a valve?
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:01 AM   #17
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Is that an example of the infamous D chunk?
No, piston failure.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:28 AM   #18
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Ouch! But I think that is what we were all expecting based on the condition of the spark plug.

Have a shop swap in a cheap replacement engine and you can be back on the road for less than $4500. Even less if you can do the swap yourself.

Of course, you can spend more - but you don't have to.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:46 PM   #19
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What did the head look like? Did you drop a valve?
Not as bad as I thought it would look.

All valves seem Ok
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:37 AM   #20
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Ouch! But I think that is what we were all expecting based on the condition of the spark plug.

Have a shop swap in a cheap replacement engine and you can be back on the road for less than $4500. Even less if you can do the swap yourself.

Of course, you can spend more - but you don't have to.
The car's back on the road as of Jun 1 with used engine that has 64K miles. Paid more than I wanted but did all the work myself.
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