I recently picked up a great new toy in the form of a 2006 Subaru Legacy GT. Much like all vehicles that I buy, it needed some major work before hitting the streets again. When I first heard about this car, the local Subaru dealer had just declared that it needed a new engine. Technically speaking, it did still run. However, it was running really rough due to lack of compression in cylinder #3. With the higher mileage that it had, and the repair being a seriously labor intensive job, it just wouldn’t make sense for the owner of the car to have it fixed. For me though, I get a weird thrill over fixing cars that other people condemn. Before long, a deal was struck, and the red Subie landed in my driveway.
The first step of any repair is determining what the problem is. Since I already knew that one cylinder was missing compression, I began the diagnosis by determining where all of that compression was going. I knew that if the piston was damaged, the compression would have to be filling the crankcase like crazy with air, so I started the car and yanked the oil filler cap off. I then waved my hand around above the oil filler tube. If the piston was damaged, there would have been massive amounts of compression pumping out of there. Luckily for me, there wasn’t. This, along with a quiet running engine, told me that the piston & rings were probably in good working condition. Next on the check list, and really the only other option, were the valves. I shut off the car, and installed a cylinder leakage gauge into the spark plug hole. I then set the engine to TDC on cylinder #3, and pumped 90psi of air into the cylinder. Sure enough, all of that air immediately flowed right out the exhaust system. Tada, an exhaust valve was damaged! This meant that the engine was coming out, and the heads were getting pulled off. Most of Saturday came and went, and the picture above is what I discovered.
So what causes burned valves? Well, from what I have read about these engines, the valves aren’t known to be the best quality to start with. Compile that with the fact that the valves were never adjusted in 140K miles (which is rarely, if ever, done by anybody with a Subaru), and the valves were given the opportunity to hang open just enough to burn. Yeap, a total bummer for sure. This car though, is getting a second chance at life, with new valves, head gaskets, timing belt, water pump, etc. I cannot wait to get it back together!
More to come in the weeks ahead…
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If you watched the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night like I did, more than likely you were at the edge of your seat for the entire race. NASCAR has done a great job with all of the changes that they made in the off-season to their super speedway package.
They worked hard to get the cars back to pack racing that the fans have longed for over the past couple of seasons, and by golly it’s BACK! The two car tandem seems to be gone and we’re back to pack racing!
The Budweiser Shootout Saturday night was one of the best that I’ve seen in years. A guy could push the guy in front of him, make a charge for the lead and then pull out of line with enough horsepower to control his own destiny. That was what we were missing and what seemed to be back during the Budweiser Shootout. That race was so good I’d watch it again.
How about that Kyle Busch save. Halfway through the race he all but lost the car in the middle of the pack. He turned to the left and then to the right, sparkes were flying everywhere off the front air dam and somehow he gathered her up and kept on cruising along at 200 mph.
If that wasn’t enough for you, on the green-white-checkered restart Kyle Busch pushed Tony Stewart towards the front as they created a 200 MPH freight train that took off from the pack; coming out of turn 4 Busch broke formation, made the slingshot move around the right of Stewart and took Stewart right at the finish line winning the Bud Shootout by half a fender!
If this is a preview as to what’s going to take place during the Daytona 500 next Sunday, I think the race fans are in for a treat. This should be one of the best Daytona 500′s in years.
Video Borrowed from YouTube:
Kyle Busch Save During The Race…THIS IS CRAZY!
Saturday night the lights will be lit at Daytona International Speedway, kicking off the 2012 NASCAR Speed Week. If you haven’t watched the Bud Shootout in the past this is always a great race to watch. It’s a non points race, so there’s always plenty of hard racing to go around under the lights of Daytona!
The starting positions will be drawn on Friday, by luck of the draw. As a driver your starting position will be totally random. The race is 75 laps with a 10 minute pit stop after the first 25 laps. Under the first caution teams are allowed to take on a fresh set of tires, adjust the chassis and refuel.
The race starts at 8:10 PM on FOX Sports
Under the cover of darkness (okay, not really), there has been an evolutionary change going on beneath some new car hoods. Something that we all have grown to love & hate may finally become a thing of the past. For these new GM V6 engines, upgrading to a set of long tube headers for some added fun at the track is a total impossibility, because the exhaust manifold doesn’t even exist anymore. A tragedy? Nope, not really.
You see, General Motors has been starting to integrate the exhaust manifolds into the cylinder heads themselves. This is absolutely terrific news for several reasons. It gives engineers & technicians a bit more room to play, weighs several pounds less, has fewer gaskets to blow, and it locates the catalytic converters closer to the cylinder heads which reduces emissions even further. Oh yeah, they also claim that these fancy new heads flow better than the old exhaust manifolds used to. So unless these integrated cylinder heads start cracking from heat cycles (plausible?), they are really nothing but great news for the enthusiasts and environmentalists alike. It’s a strange new world out there, and times they are a’ changin’.
In the warmer months, I find myself sauntering around car shows quite a bit. It keeps me motivated on my automotive projects, gives me some great ideas, and I often meet great people. One car that I have seen several times over the past couple of years is this 63-64? Fairlane 500 with a twin turbocharged 5.0L nestled under the hood. This sort of thing always brings a smile to my face because it’s soooo outside the box, and most likely disturbingly fast. Both of which I happen to appreciate greatly.
That said, I have absolutely no details on this car other than what you see in the pictures. I can tell you that it appears to be a 5.0L fox body mustang engine with a couple turbos hanging off it. It’s gotta have some kind of aftermarket ECU (megasquirt? AEM?) because well….it’s injected, and the owner has extra sensors wired up for measuring temperatures on the inlet and outlet of the intercooler. Most factory ECU’s can’t handle additional inputs. Anywho, with that, I give leave you with this. An absolutely killer Fairlane 500 with an engine to match.
Last year Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series under his new crew chief Steve Letarte. The previous year he had finished the season in 21st place in the points standings under his old crew chief Lance McGrew.
Although he still hasn’t won a race since 2008, Dale Jr. and Steve Letarte made huge strides and really improved over the 2011 season. He could have easily shot Kevin Harvick up the hill at Martinsville to reclaim the lead and put an end to his winless streak, but Dale said he wanted to race him clean, and I’m sure Junior Nation can respect that.
Then there was the Coca-Cola 600 when Jimmie Johnson blew up, Dale Junior was coming to the checkers and ran out of gas! Kevin Harvick ultimately once again claimed a victory during that race.
Dale also hung out at the back of the pack under Chad Kanaus’s request in an effort to stay out of trouble for the race which ultimately worked against junior to the point where, when he got out of the car he said he was done sand bagging at these tracks.
I think in the 2012 season Dale will finally end his dry spell and claim the checkers more than once.
Video Source YouTube:
This is simply a beautiful Nova drag car that I saw last season at New England Dragway in Epping New Hampshire. Low cars with fat tires gets me every – single – time.