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Uneven bearing wear

Sam's GSX

Proven Member
341
43
Jun 10, 2018
Hohenwald, Tennessee
Hello, if you saw my last post you'll know where I'm at, I have pulled 3 pistons, I pulled number 3 first because it was the one that had the most improper end gaps (130 compression) I re measured the end gable and found it to be around .038 or .039, so that does explain that.
But I unfortunately found another problem.
The bearing wear on rod bearing 3 was not to bad, I've driven about 1000 miles with the new engine.
But I pulled piston 2 and 1 as well, and 2 was terrible and 1 was pretty bad, (in fact, the notch key on the lower bearing of 2 fell off when I removed it, i doubt it had to do with how I removed it)
I dont exactly know why they are in such bad shape, but its more confusing that they are worn uneven. The cranks looks great, almost no sign of wear.
As far as oil, I'm running 20w50 vr1, blocked off oil squirters, balance shaft delete, oil pressure is pretty high, 90 on highway at 4000rpm, 20 at idle.
I dont have a flat place to check oil level at my place, so after filling the proper amount. I dont believe I checked the level, and my valve cover leaked all the way around, just oil all over everything, the intake manifold, the head, etc.

If it's not just being a bit low on oil, then I'm not sure what it was.
Any help would be much appreciated, thank you.

(Picture order: cylinder 3>2>1)

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1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
7,537
3,608
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
7,537
3,608
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
No but I would check it anyway. Eagle cranks have an allen head screw in the end of the throw where they have capped it off. Still technically should be clear of any debris though. Was it a new crank? And even if it is, I check for metal shavings and gunk on all the passages.
 

Sam's GSX

Proven Member
341
43
Jun 10, 2018
Hohenwald, Tennessee
Yes it was a new crank, the other thing I was thinking, is if the debris has already done its damage, and whatever was going to come loose has already, seeing as it's been driven for 1000 miles?
Also the engine is still in the car, so I'd love to avoid removing the crank, I don't know if its possible to put the crank in through the bottom, maybe with 2 people, but also I cant get the crank dirty while putting it in, and the car is outside. Over the ground.
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
7,537
3,608
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
I would bet that the main bearings look similar, maybe not quite as bad but something went thru them more than just once.
Bearings are soft for a reason. I am hoping that the crank didnt get scored more than a quick emery cloth polish would take care of. Being optimistic here, of course.
 

Sam's GSX

Proven Member
341
43
Jun 10, 2018
Hohenwald, Tennessee
Yeah, you're probably right, I didn't really want to accept that, because it means pulling either the transmission or the engine and trans together, this sucks, I'm very low on funds at the moment and got let go unfortunately, so I am trying to save money wherever possible, but at the end of the day, I do need to replace the bearings.
My biggest fear is doing all this work and the same thing happens.
I do still have the oil pan and the left over oil in it, so if I check that for any debris, and it doesn't have any, does that mean its already gone through, and got caught by the filter?
 

dustyboner

DSM Wiseman
1,372
624
Mar 13, 2016
abq, New_Mexico
I do still have the oil pan and the left over oil in it, so if I check that for any debris, and it doesn't have any, does that mean its already gone through, and got caught by the filter?
possibly, but since the oil pump is before the filter you'll want to pull it also and check for wear.

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DSMPT

DSM Wiseman
1,358
900
Jun 12, 2014
Japan / Mexico, Arizona
Yeah, you're probably right, I didn't really want to accept that, because it means pulling either the transmission or the engine and trans together, this sucks, I'm very low on funds at the moment and got let go unfortunately, so I am trying to save money wherever possible, but at the end of the day, I do need to replace the bearings.
My biggest fear is doing all this work and the same thing happens.
I do still have the oil pan and the left over oil in it, so if I check that for any debris, and it doesn't have any, does that mean its already gone through, and got caught by the filter?
The rods were new? or did you recondition the rods?
To me, it looks like assembly error, also you may have had something in the oil passage like Marty mentioned.
IMO, you figure out the cause and fix would probably be the only way to go. So I strongly recommend to disassemble the engine and would inspect and cleaning everything and reassemble properly. When you spun bearings, just replacing the bearings would never work and it would happen again soon or later.
I really do understand about the tight budget. But if you don't want to apart the engine again soon, you should avoid doing something improperly for now and you shouldn't save money and time on cleaning and preparation. For sure, that would save more money and time in the future than you save now.
80% of assembly work would be cleaning and preparation.
 

Sam's GSX

Proven Member
341
43
Jun 10, 2018
Hohenwald, Tennessee
I understand what you're saying, I have reluctantly decided to pull the engine and take it apart/clean.
I dont know if you were saying these rods spun or not, but they didn't.
No the rods had about 30k miles on them from the person I bought them from.
 

DSMPT

DSM Wiseman
1,358
900
Jun 12, 2014
Japan / Mexico, Arizona
I understand what you're saying, I have reluctantly decided to pull the engine and take it apart/clean.
I believe that's a right decision. You won't regret it. Most of case only replacing bearings would be just a band-aid solution.
I dont know if you were saying these rods spun or not, but they didn't.
You were at the beginning of it. You were actually lucky that you could find it before it gets worse.
No the rods had about 30k miles on them from the person I bought them from.
Always you should check it before building the engine and if it's out of spec, have them reconditioned. This is very important to not damage bearings.
 

Sam's GSX

Proven Member
341
43
Jun 10, 2018
Hohenwald, Tennessee
Ohhh ok, you were saying I was going to spin them, yeah I am glad I found it I guess.
What is reconditioning them? Is it something I can do? And I'm guessing I'd need a micrometer to check rods are in spec, I believe I can use one from someone for that.
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
7,537
3,608
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
We ALL have these moments Sam. Don't get discouraged. My buddies cheered me back up after a major disappointment. It's gonna be alright. The budget may hold it up a little but you will get it taken care of and be happy!
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
7,537
3,608
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
Yes sir. The machine shop will grind a small amount of material off of the caps of the rods, then clamp them together as if they were in your motor at full torque on the bolts then they "resize" the big end of the rod to exact tolerances. Sorry I didn't answer that for you. My bad.
 

Sam's GSX

Proven Member
341
43
Jun 10, 2018
Hohenwald, Tennessee
Ok, went through a bit of a low point in the past month or 2, having almost no motivation to work on the car, mostly because I didn't know what caused it, and even if I put it back together well and clean, it could happen again if I didn't find out what went wrong.
But, I bit of news today, I have the engine out and apart, (pictures below) I just noticed a lot of gunk in the oil passages of the crank, this lines up with what some of you guys were saying, and I hope to God this was the problem.
As for bearing wear of the mains, they are pretty bad, not to different from each other, but not as bad as the rods.
This does me hope, otherwise I'd have to put my stock 150k miles engine back in, that would hurt

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97egl

Proven Member
162
34
Feb 6, 2014
Brownsburg, Indiana
I'm sure you found the #4 rod bearing to be the worst. If you look at all the other bearings they have a groove in the block behind them which allows some oil to get thru the gap between the bearings and get a little oil to the rods. #4 does not have this and it will wear first. Take some pics of #4 because if it spun you probably will need to turn the crank. If it didn't you could probably get away with just polishing the journals and putting new rods and mains in the bottom end but you need to go thru and clean all the oil passages. Pull your lifters and you will probably see copper particulate on them. I would just replace them to be honest. The head has allen plugs that you can take out to clean the oil galleys out. The block also has a plug for the main galley that you need to pull and clean all those galleys. Pull the balance shaft bearings when you clean the block galley to allow any debris that is in there to be blown out. Clean the crank galleys by removing the balls as described earlier in the thread, and also pull the oil pump and pick-up tube and clean those. Overall as long as your #4 bearing didn't spin it shouldn't cost you too much to repair. Just gonna spend a few hours cleaning and about 250-400 dollars on gaskets, bearings, and lifters depending on how good of deals you can get on your parts.

Don't feel bad. Everyone makes mistakes. The good thing here is that you now know exactly what was wrong now and you had the engine going for 1000 miles so you know pretty much everything else except for the ring issue is good! For some reason I've seen this done on engines with bedplates much more commonly than engines with individual caps.
 
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