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Old 01-20-2008, 04:33 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

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Originally Posted by 3startuna View Post
An Engine suffering from detonation can lead to spun bearings because of this, But your bigger concern should be the pistons in this case. They will most likely go before you spin a bearing.
not really. my motor spun before the pistons were damaged. i honestly believe the pistons were fine. probably not great, but perfectly capable of running the engine. and that motor saw massive knock counts. i've almost never seen a stock motor destroy it's pistons before spinning a bearing.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:42 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

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If you spun a bearing, you WILL know about it. It WILL make a LOT of noise at all RPMs and isn't something that will get confused with lash adjuster noise. If it was running quiet, you did NOT spin a bearing. Guaranteed.

A bearing spins when it welds itself to the crankshaft and then huge amounts of force will then SPIN it inside of the connecting rod, thus basically destroying the rod, too. The presence of metal in the oil pan is a very bad sign, and a sign of something bad about to go wrong.

In a situation like this, the crankshaft journals need to be inspected for excessive scoring or some other abnormality. Often times, the journals will come out unscathed in a situation like this and new bearings can be slapped in and the engine will be good to go for tens of thousands of miles with no issues.

I would like to know which bearing inside this engine is shot. When I tore down my spun bearing engine, all but one of the rod bearings looked okay, not great, but not something to be alarmed about with a used engine. Just one bearing was spun out, and its adjacent main bearing (one of the center ones) was heavily worn out. The rest of the engine was in great shape aside from the fact that it swallowed something once upon a time in its life. I will bet that on your engine, the cylinder #1 and #6 rod bearings are fine, and it is one of the others that have issues.

These engines really love to wipe out their center main bearings for whatever reason. I blame that on the fact that their oil supply passages to these have to feed too many things. Each center main bearing has two connecting rods and two of the cylinder oiling jets to supply oil to. The ones on cylinders #1 and #6 have just one jet, and just one rod bearing. So, what happens is that these center main bearings wear down which creates larger oil clearances and thus less pressure at these two mains. Because pressure there is insufficient, the oil flow and pressure to the rods is also weak so the oil cannot do its job effectively. Thenthe parts rub against each other, wear down, get hot, and weld themselves up and then disaster strikes. Right now, you're wearing down and getting them hot, but not to the point of welding yet. In different terms, the oil flow at the bearing clearances + rod bearing oil passages + oil jets -=sorta=- exceeds what the main bearing's supply passage can handle. So, you can have plenty of oil pressure where your guage hooks up, but by the time it is to the rod bearings, it can be down to a trickle there.

So, as for how this pertains to you, check out the engine's main bearings and swap them out at the same time. All the oil is leaking out at the mains and not getting to the rods. The metal flakes are from the parts rubbing against each other (insufficient oiling).

So, how do we keep our engines from spinning bearings? My vote is to either drill out the two center main bearing oil supply holes another 1/32" for increased flow and/or be gone of the cylinder oiling jets. The 12 valve engines don't have these cylinder oiling / cooling jets and they last literally forever with no issues. Many other engines out there are force inducted and have no such oil jets except what is in the connecting rods like most engines do. Their pistons keep their cool just fine. The extra 1/32" in the mains' supply passages should, in theory, take some pressure away from the #1 and #6 passages and feed the centers more. Stealing from Peter to Pay Paul per say. Thats my story and I am sticking to it unless someone else can come up with a better explanation of why these engines wipe out bearings. To help compensate, I plan on running mine on 10w40 (Northern climate here) oil to try to up the ante on the pressure a bit.

But then again, who knows how long this metal has been in the oil pan. It could have been there for years. Because you didn't run it out of oil, doesn't mean nobody else hasn't.

Another reason these things spin bearings? They're old. They consume oil. Its a fact of life. You can change oil every 2500 miles, but if you consume a quart every 1,000 miles (my 12v 6G72 is consuming 1 quart every 500 miles via valve guides/seals) so by the time 2500 miles roll around... imagine how much oil is left. My Stealth didn't have much in it when I bought it with the bad bearing. That very well could have added to the fact.


Thank you for this explaination. It is very helpful and hopefully i can get through this. I assume that once everything is fixed and put back together i should change the oil after a couple hundred miles and make sure it doesnt have metal flakes in it again.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:11 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

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i've almost never seen a stock motor destroy it's pistons before spinning a bearing.

my 97.


bearings are fine. broken ring land.
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

oohnoo's did it as well. Broken ring lands are not all that uncommon.


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Old 01-20-2008, 06:29 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

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not really. my motor spun before the pistons were damaged. i honestly believe the pistons were fine. probably not great, but perfectly capable of running the engine. and that motor saw massive knock counts. i've almost never seen a stock motor destroy it's pistons before spinning a bearing.
The chances of that happening are very rare. But i have seen badly tuned engnes blow up pistons before spinning bearings. So one can cause the other, but its not a certainty that detonation will cause spun bearings.

Spun bearings is a function of poor oil supply or wrong weight. detonation is caused by bad air fuel ratio or improper timing control
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:05 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

alright, im sorry, im not quite sure... what is a ring land? is that part of the piston ring? Is it possible to have metal shavings in my oil from detonation?
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:38 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

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alright, im sorry, im not quite sure... what is a ring land? is that part of the piston ring? Is it possible to have metal shavings in my oil from detonation?
if u blew a piston yes. lol. The ring lands are the pieces off piston that seprate the rings from each other

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Old 01-21-2008, 07:19 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

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if u blew a piston yes. lol. The ring lands are the pieces off piston that seprate the rings from each other

Alright. Thanks for the help
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:42 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

I am sure it is possible to break a piston ring land due to lack of lubrication, but the connecting rod bearings are usually the first to go, but that can depend on various conditions....

It is not necessarily the fact that engine parts are not getting enough lubrication that ultimately causes their failure. Such as when a rod bearing spins, what happens is that the parts have a lot of friction between them which generates lots of heat. They become HOT to the point that they melt and weld themselves together and then guess what happens when the bearing becomes one with the crankshaft?

However, at idle, the rod bearings do not have very much force being exerted on them, so they don't get hot and consequently an engine can run a long time with no oil in the pan and survive. Although, it definitely doesn't do it any good in the mean time!

Also, with no oil in the pan, the underside of the pistons aren't being cooled either. Normally, oil shoots up there to both lubricate the cylinder walls and also cools the pistons. Of course, heat will build up there due to friction, but the fact that the pistons are receiving NO cooling from the combustion occuring above them, they get very hot, expand, and the piston -> cylinder wall clearance becomes a negative number or the piston ring end gap goes to a negative number and effectively locks up the engine. You can picture how this will damage a piston ring land quite easily. If you run a weed wipper with no oil mixed with the gas, this is what usually happens to them. Once they cool, they free themselves up and will run again. But the cylinder wall and piston is getting heavily damaged in the process. This is more evident with forged pistons because they expand/contract more with temperature changes than a cast piston does.

So yea, a lack of oil can break both ring lands and rod bearings, but its usually detonation, improper piston -> wall clearance, insufficinet piston ring side gap, or insufficient piston ring end gap that breaks ring lands. The metal in the pan isn't from the pistons if the engine wasn't making any noise. A busted piston will make noise and eat up the cylinder bore.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:48 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Engine Messed Up? Metal in Oil pan?

Not sure what you are describing, pics help, but some people have found metal in there pan which has otherwise caused any harm or been from bearings. Just random lil metal pieces. I know, sounds crazy... but its true. Do some searching I think oohnoo posted some pics in an old thread, I remember it because I had the same problem. Later I replaced all my bearings, even though they were virtually perfect. I believe the metal was from the cylinder heads, machining imperfections from in and around the cam mating surfaces that chunk off and end up in the pan....

Again, this may or may NOT be your issue.... just search and compare notes.

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