Is my motor toast?
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This is a discussion on Is my motor toast? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; 149,800 miles. Replaced the oil last weekend. Decided to check the oil on wednesday. No oil on dipstick. Decided to ...

  1. #1
    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    Is my motor toast?

    149,800 miles. Replaced the oil last weekend. Decided to check the oil on wednesday. No oil on dipstick. Decided to drop oil. Oil looks 15k old (not that I would know), smells like gasoline, and I filtered little copper colored shavings out of the oil. Was also down 1.25 qts. A friend says he hears an abnormal chatter when the engine is turned off.
    No external leaks. Boost seems fine. Engine actually seems fine but I parked it and am now borrowing my dad's ride.


    What's the general consensus?
    2nd WRX...
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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    If it runs fine, it's probably okay-ish. But to confirm, you should do a compression check and leak down test.

    Running that low of oil can ruin your main bearings as well, so if you're getting some chatter, it may get worse, and then you'll know for sure your engine is toast.
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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    Abnormal chatter with the engine off?? Um.. No


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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Could be a number of things. From engine bearings to turbo bearings. With it dropping oil without leaking, could be turbo. Do a compression check, and pull the turbo.
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    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LPPTundWRX View Post
    Abnormal chatter with the engine off?? Um.. No
    Yea, I guess I was a little vague there. As it is shutting down. Now as it's just sitting there without the engine running. That would be an interesting symptom though.
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  7. #6
    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    Did the compression test. 152, 152, 155, 160.

    The only thing abnormal that I noticed was some oil sitting inside the spot where the coil packs go in the head on the passenger side. I do my spark plugs every 10 - 15k (use copper plugs), so I Know it's not normal. I don't know what to think of it though since the compression test prooved fine.

    Since the compression test passed, I have a tendency to think the problem is below the heads in the engine's block. The copper flakes and fact the fact that my oil is shot makes it tough for me to think that the problem Isn't in my motor.

    I had a trans issue last summer and had NO idea what was going on since the trans was pretty much brand new. I ended up taking my down pipe down and testing for free play in my turbo. There was none. if the turbo bearings were going bad, I'd probably see a lot more smoke coming out the exhaust.
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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Could be a rod bearing.
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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06wrx4me View Post
    Could be a rod bearing.
    Since the compression check is within spec, I tend to agree with this as well.

    The rod bearings are made of brass IIRC, are you sure it's a copper (redish) looking metal? Could be that you're just seeing a more copperish color with the brass being covered in oil.

    Problem with having rod bearings sheering like that though is that if those chunks get lodged in the wrong place, you can have even bigger problems if you continue driving it.
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    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    I put some of the flakes under a more intense light and they look more yellowish than reddish brown.

    The flakes and fact that so much oil has burnt up was reason enough to park it. The shot bearing pieces probably has the same effect sand would. It'll quickly wear it's self out.

    But it's still surprising when I run it how normal it seems. Guess I've gotten used to the inherent roughness of the engine.

    Now does deteriorating bearing mean complete teardown and rebuild of the engine? IE take head off/apart, clean, examine cams, valves, replace if necessary, examine other bearings, replace if necessary, check oil pump... and so on?
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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentH View Post
    I put some of the flakes under a more intense light and they look more yellowish than reddish brown.

    The flakes and fact that so much oil has burnt up was reason enough to park it. The shot bearing pieces probably has the same effect sand would. It'll quickly wear it's self out.

    But it's still surprising when I run it how normal it seems. Guess I've gotten used to the inherent roughness of the engine.

    Now does deteriorating bearing mean complete teardown and rebuild of the engine? IE take head off/apart, clean, examine cams, valves, replace if necessary, examine other bearings, replace if necessary, check oil pump... and so on?
    Sure as hell does, sadly. The only way for you to even GET to the bearings is a complete tear down of the engine. Such is the downfall of the boxer engine, whereas with an inline, you'd be able to take off the oilpan and oil pick up and do your work that way. Any of those metal bits can be disastorous to your engine in any number of ways. You're looking at quite a bit of work ahead of you.

    If budget warrants it, now's the time to drop in some better internals, but that's a subject of personal reflection.
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    Registered User Merk247's Avatar
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    cant rule out main bearings either..you most likely have all those bits partially pluging the oil cooler as well. if doing a rebuild get a new one..
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    Registered User stockscooby's Avatar
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    do not start/drive your car. I just saw a thread on this at NASIOC.com go over there and search it.

    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1984843
    Last edited by stockscooby; 05-09-2010 at 12:49 PM.

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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    Time for a short block


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    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    Time for a short block
    Sad but true. It sucks because the autox season is just getting under way.

    I want to put a motor of my preference in there, but $ is tight. I need some time to figure things out.
    2nd WRX...
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