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PSA: to those wanting boost...

  #1  
Old 10-02-2015, 07:37 PM
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Exclamation PSA: to those wanting boost...

I've just learned a hard lesson in the field of car modification, and I figured I would share...

It seems that a few of us are interested in going faster, and most say the best bang for your buck is forced induction, for adding serious power to even the most modest platform. However, adding or increasing boost has risk factors that need addressing or management... The lesson I learned is about instrumentation, however...

It seems that with even the best thought out build there is room for something to break or go wrong, but if you can monitor a couple operating parameters of your engine, you might be able to catch an issue before it becomes truly expensive...

There are a few areas that a gauge can save the owner from an expensive failure such as the one I recently experienced...

1. Air/fuel... The ability to monitor your AFR as you drive is important because both rich and lean conditions can cause damage if left alone for too long... Purchasing a wideband air/fuel gauge allows the driver to monitor his AFR in real-time and detect a problem before it causes further damage

2. Vacuum/boost... The ability to monitor the pressure or vacuum in your intake manifold is also very important... Checking vacuum can let the owner know about leaks, valve issues and more before damage can be caused, and being able to monitor boost pressure (especially if you're turbocharged) can let you know about boost leaks(can cause a rich condition) or waste gate failures(can cause an over boost condition), both of which can damage your engine...

I lost my car to ignorance of the operating conditions of my engine, had I bought and installed the above gauges, I might have caught a problem before the engine in my car was damaged beyond my ability to fix... If you're like me, money isn't growing on the tree in the backyard and engines are prohibitively expensive to replace...
 

Last edited by derf; 10-02-2015 at 11:46 PM.
  #2  
Old 10-06-2015, 11:37 PM
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You can fix this car, don't give up. Once you have something to drive remove the head and take a look. You can assess the cylinder damage with the head removed. If the cylinder will hone, just replace the piston and put it back on the road. The pan comes off easily on this engine.
 
  #3  
Old 10-07-2015, 07:39 PM
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The issue is not mechanical proficiency in fixing the issue, but financial ability to fund the rebuild... The only way to remove a piston(that I'm aware of), is to remove the engine from the car to access the bottom end... With the engine apart, it will then need new bearings, rings, timing set, head gasket, valve cover gasket, water pump, oil pan gasket, etc(what am I missing?)...

The fact is that such a rebuild could easily run $6-800, plus the cost of correcting whatever broke the engine, unless it needs a piston or an overbore, which would cost significantly more... I simply can't afford it... It has become easier to sell the car and maybe buy another Saturn(or another car in general) than it would be to keep my IRL, that isn't exactly the most practical vehicle...
 
  #4  
Old 10-07-2015, 09:57 PM
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If you are not in love with this car, let it go to its next home.
How much is it worth in its present condition? How much running well?
I however would disassemble the engine in the car. Do not buy anything. Remove the timing cover, chain, cylinder head and inspect. If you find a bad piston which is what I suspect, look at the cylinder to see if it will hone.
You can remove the pan and push the bad piston out from the bottom if the cylinder can be saved. You then can decide what to do. If it is junk put it back together with the old gaskets and dump it.
 
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:34 AM
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Don't get me wrong, I do love this car, but I was nearly constantly fixing something with it, and it wasn't the most practical for a daily driver... For my purposes, a base model ION would have served much better... I have no idea the cars actual value, but in priced it to a local for $2k, and he didn't even attempt to haggle; if it sells at that price, I'm only out $500 for having had a fun car for six months(not too bad if you ask me)... I can't take the engine apart however, because it needs to run to be delivered. The local lives in a tight alleyway which isn't accessible with a truck/trailer, so would need to be driven at least the last block or two to its new home... Not a problem in its current condition(probably gonna skip the trailer and limp it the 20 miles), but if I take it apart, it won't run anymore...
 
  #6  
Old 10-08-2015, 09:19 AM
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$500. for 6 months of fun with a Redline sounds like a pretty good bang for the buck. Hope it sells for you.
 
  #7  
Old 10-12-2015, 10:36 PM
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Boost is a love hate relationship. GLWS
 
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