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DonTom
12-12-2007, 08:57 AM
Yesterday morning, my relief (to do the day shift) at my night sinecure here called in from his cell phone.

"Car broke down--see if you can find somebody else to relieve you".

If I don't, I will have to be here at "work" for up to 26 hours! I have not done such a "work" shift since my army days.

Anyway, I asked for the details, and he said he was on the freeway, going downhill, and first heard a noise that went "click, click, click", but the car (1995 Ford Probe, 2.0L Mazda engine, 101,000 miles) still ran fine. 20 seconds later, it went "BANG! BANG!, BANG!" and loud! Then it sounded like something fell off the car onto the freeway. Obvious loss of power. He took the next exit and the engine died on the exit. It would not restart.

When he got out of the car, he notice oil all over the road and engine. It was dark, so he couldn't get a good look at stuff such as what fell from the car. This all happened at around 0530 hours when it was still dark.

Any guesses on what broke?

Not that it matters, he said he will junk the car.

-Don- (San Francisco)

Eric
12-12-2007, 09:07 AM
The oil all over the road does not bode well... I suspect major bottom end damage. At first, I thought it sounded like a cambelt went - and that may still be it - if it's an interference engine.

Another possibility - and this has happened to me with a brand new press car - is the oil drain plug worked loose and the engine ran dry until it seized up/grenaded... either way, not good.

DonTom
12-12-2007, 09:19 AM
"is the oil drain plug worked loose and the engine ran dry until it seized up/grenaded... either way, not good."

But how would that put oil all over the engine? I think he meant top of engine, but I will have to ask him next week to be sure.

I won't see him again until next week. I am off until Sunday night and may go to the Reno home after a nap. But I see it's only 20 F there right now. So much warmer here in SF.

I can E-mail him the link to here. Perhaps he (Lee) will join in!

-Don-

Eric
12-12-2007, 09:27 AM
"is the oil drain plug worked loose and the engine ran dry until it seized up/grenaded... either way, not good."

But how would that put oil all over the engine? I think he meant top of engine, but I will have to ask him next week to be sure.

I won't see him again until next week. I am off until Sunday night and may go to the Reno home after a nap. But I see it's only 20 F there right now. So much warmer here in SF.

I can E-mail him the link to here. Perhaps he (Lee) will join in!

-Don-



Well, if the oil (pressurized) was released while the car was moving, the wind (and engine fan) would spray it all over the place. But it could be that something came loose/broke on top - or even blasted through the cam cover/timing cover... it sounds awful in any case.... I would not count on a good prognosis!

Yes, please send your co-worker the link and invite him to join - we'd love to have him...!

Disco Man
12-12-2007, 10:16 AM
You know that is exactly what happened to me when I threw a rod in one of my cars. It went bang, bang, bang, - the engine cut off, and a cocktail of engine coolant and oil were all over the road. I would venture to guess it was internal damage - thrown rod, serious crank damage, etc. since it came up so fast and the oil dropped out so quickly. I would say the block probably is cracked. If you lost a drainplug or had a slow engine oil leak the check engine light will come on before you start hearing noises.

If it's what I suspect it will be a minimum of $5K for a replacement engine plus labor at a local shop to get this car back on the road. I hope I am wrong.

l3it3r
12-12-2007, 11:13 AM
sometimes I wish that would happen to my SRT4.. I just want to be less one car right now .. lol

DonTom
12-12-2007, 11:22 AM
"I hope I am wrong."

My guess is that you're 100% correct. I have also blown rods, had something break right out from the bottom of the oil pan, leaving a large hole and oil all over the road. Another hint is that it happened while he was going downhill.
Seems to me rods always break when going downhill. Where you going downhill when your rod broke? How many miles on the engine and what type? I have blown three rods total, two in my RV (400 CID) and one on a 1984 3/4 (305 CID) ton van. ALL were GM small block engines.

Anyway, Lee towed the car home and he does know a bit about cars, engines, etc., so I am sure he will take a better look before he junks it.

I already E-mailed him the link to this thread, so I am sure he will read it, if not also join in.

-Don-

DonTom
12-12-2007, 11:27 AM
"I just want to be less one car right now"

I know the feeling, but I only have four cars, plus one pick up truck, one SUV, four motorcycles (six if electric motorcycles count), two boats (four if electric boats count too) at this time.

-Don-

misterdecibel
12-12-2007, 11:53 AM
Sounds like he tossed a rod to me.

Disco Man
12-12-2007, 06:26 PM
"I hope I am wrong."

My guess is that you're 100% correct. I have also blown rods, had something break right out from the bottom of the oil pan, leaving a large hole and oil all over the road. Another hint is that it happened while he was going downhill.
Seems to me rods always break when going downhill. Where you going downhill when your rod broke? How many miles on the engine and what type? I have blown three rods total, two in my RV (400 CID) and one on a 1984 3/4 (305 CID) ton van. ALL were GM small block engines.

Anyway, Lee towed the car home and he does know a bit about cars, engines, etc., so I am sure he will take a better look before he junks it.

I already E-mailed him the link to this thread, so I am sure he will read it, if not also join in.

-Don-


Don,

Believe it or not I was going up a steep hill at 25 - 30 mph, when the rod decided to declare its liberty. The engine was a 1982 (LU5) 305 (Trans Am) with only about 55K miles. The engine had not been abused I put Mobil One in it since 1990 on a regular basis. The engine expert who looked it over said he could find no problems with the internals, he said everything else inside the motor looked good. He said he had seen this before on the early 1980s 305 V8s since they were a popular GM corporate engine used in many different makes/models during that time. He said they probably were sending them down the production line too fast to meet the high demand. His opinion was it was a factory flaw in the rod that got thrown which led to the final result. This all happened in 2002. Since then I have discovered that Mobil had removed ZDDP years ago from their Mobil One oils. I can't help and wonder if this may have caused it or contributed to the rod being thrown.

After

DonTom
12-13-2007, 05:06 AM
" Since then I have discovered that Mobil had removed ZDDP years ago from their Mobil One oils. "

Or could it be that a 1982 vehicle just doesn't like synthetic oil? I've never used any synthetic engine oils yet. I will use it only when the owner's manual says there's an advantage to using such, and so far, none of mine have.

However, it did say to use synthetic gear oil in the rear axle of the Jeep if it's ever used for towing. My Jeep has $60.00 worth of Mobil One Gear oil in the rear.

What is that ZDDP supposed to do and why do you think they removed it?

BTW, I used Lee's work E-mail address which means he won't see this thread until Friday, which is the next day he "works". I have a hard time saying "work" for that sinecure.

But we have no chance of finding out what really happened until then.

-Don- (in cold <+15 degrees F. or -9.5C> Cold Springs Valley, NV)

.

Eric
12-13-2007, 06:35 AM
"What is that ZDDP supposed to do and why do you think they removed it?"

It's an additive that contains phosphorous, zinc and manganese - and was used as a friction modifier in engine oils. It has been removed (or concentrations greatly reduced) for emissions-related reasons; the additive is said to reduce the useful life of catalytic converters in particular - and federal law now mandates that catalytic converters and so on be effective for 120,000 miles. So the automakers lobbied the oil mfgrs to get the ZDDP out of engine oil.

This is no problem for modern cars; however, older vehicles - esp. those with flat tappet camshafts - need the ZDDP. Accelerated wear of the camshaft (even serious failure, as Pete relates) has been associated with use of oils that have low ZDDP content.

Did you catch the longer article I did on the subject? Here's a copy:

Oil alert for older cars
By Eric Peters


If you own an older car, you might want to think twice about the oil you're using.

In order to comply with federal requirements that key emissions control components on new cars such as catalytic converters last at least 120,000 miles (previously, it was 100,000 miles) automakers have been pushing for reductions in an oil additive known as zinc dialkyl dithio phosphate (ZDDP), which contains phosphorous (as well as zinc and manganese).

The problem for late model emissions-controlled cars is that the phosphorous in ZDDP has been linked with premature catalytic converter failure - or at least, premature loss of converter efficiency.

But the problem for older cars with flat tappet camshafts - which means pretty much all cars built before about the mid-1980s, when roller camshafts began to supplant the flat tappet design - is that oils with low ZDDP levels can cause rapid premature wear, even failure, of flat tappet camshafts. In a nutshell, the ZDDP cushions the high pressure point between the lifter crown and the camshaft lobe, acting as anti-friction, anti-wear barrier.

Running without the ZDDP is almost like running without oil - and with the same results.

Levels of ZDDP in commonly available mainstream motor oils - including big-name brands and high dollar synthetics - have been dropping since the new emissions longevity requirements became effective with the 2004 model year. Unfortunately, many hobbyists and owners of older cars with flat tappet camshafts are unaware of the changing formulations - and the threat low-ZDDP oils may represent.

The situation is analogous to the days when lead began to disappear from gasoline. Engines that had been designed to burn leaded fuel (especially high-performance engines run at high RPMs) fell victim to premature valve recession caused by the use of unleaded fuel.

What to do?

The first thing is to determine whether your vehicle is equipped with a flat tappet camshaft. If it's an American-brand car older than model year 1980 and the engine is either original or has been rebuilt to original specifications, the odds are virtually 100 percent certain that you have a flat tappet camshaft. It's also very likely you have one if your car is early-mid 1980s. By the latter half of the '80s and into the 1990s, roller-style camshafts were becoming the norm - and you are probably safe. But it's important to be sure. You won't find information on the type of camshaft your vehicle has in your owner's manual. You'll need to consult a technical service manual - or simply ask someone who is knowledgeable. The service manager at a dealership for your make/model of car ought to know - or should be able to find out.

What to use?

There are still a few oils on the market that have adequate levels of ZDDP. These include Shell Rotella T - a conventional (mineral-based) oil that was originally formulated for diesel engines. Rotella T still contains 1,200 parts per million ZDDP, according to Shell - which is as much as five times the amount found in other oils. Don't sweat it that Rotella was/is "for diesels." It's also an excellent choice for older, non-emissions controlled engines with flat tappet cams that need their ZDDP. Rotella's also modestly priced and readily available at most any auto parts store. Shell also markets a synthetic version of Rotella that offers even more protection - as well as longevity and a 5W-40 viscosity for those who operate their vehicles in colder climates. Standard Rotella comes in a heavier 15W-40 blend.

Another choice - in a full synthetic - is Amsoil (www.amsoil.com) which carries a line of oils with ZDDP in popular viscosities such as 10W-40 and heavier 20W-50. Redline oil (www.redlineoil.com) is also still fine for older engines with flat tappet cams. Unfortunately, both Amsoil and Redline can be hard to find at your local store; but if you plan ahead, you can order a case from any one of multiple suppliers online and just keep a stash on hand.

Another option is additives. GM used to sell an over the counter Engine Oil Supplement (EOS) that was just what the doctor ordered - and for only about $12 per bottle. Unfortunately, GM stopped making the stuff and it's now very hard to find.

Luckily, Competition Cams does offer something similar - its Engine Break-in Oil Additive. Comp cams used to recommend this for initial break-in but now recommends that it be added with the oil at every oil change. Here's the skinny from Tech Bulletin 225:

"While this additive was originally developed specifically for break-in protection, subsequent testing has proven the durability benefits of its long term use. This special blend of additives promotes proper break-in and protects against premature cam and lifter failure by replacing some of the beneficial ingredients that the oil companies have been required to remove from off the shelf oil."

Here's the link to Comp Cams and the page for the additive they sell: http://www.compperformancegroupstores.com/store/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=CC&Product_Code=159&Category_Code=

So there you have it.

If you own an older vehicle, you'd be well-advised to give some thought to your next oil change - and what kind of oil you'll be pouring into the crankcase.

END

chiph
12-13-2007, 07:27 AM
What broke?

Simple answer: Something really expensive.

;D

Chip H.

DonTom
12-13-2007, 09:24 AM
"Did you catch the longer article I did on the subject? Here's a copy: "

No, or perhaps it was too late for me to be concerned as the only older vehicles I have now would be my 1971 BMW and 1984 Venture bikes. And I never looked at the cams in either. I am not real sure if I have ever seen a "flat tappet camshaft" as I have never even heard the term before. Could the lack of ZDDP do harm to bikes too? And do motorcycle oils have the same problem? Don't some of the newer bikes have catalytic converters?


But I wonder if ZDDP would have helped in my 1978 RV 400 CID to prevent the breakdown. I was using Castro 20W50 in it. I assume it didn't have the ZDDP , by your article. Another reason to have a much newer RV!

-Don- (in 14 degrees F. Reno)

DonTom
12-13-2007, 09:29 AM
"Did you catch the longer article I did on the subject? Here's a copy: "

No, or perhaps it was too late for me to be concerned as the only older vehicles I have now would be my 1971 BMW and 1984 Venture bikes. And I never looked at the cams in either. I am not real sure if I have ever seen a "flat tappet camshaft" as I have never even heard the term before. Could the lack of ZDDP do harm to bikes too? And do motorcycle oils have the same problem? Don't some of the newer bikes have catalytic converters?


But I wonder if ZDDP would have helped in my 1978 RV 400 CID to prevent the breakdown. I was using Castro 20W50 in it. I assume it didn't have the ZDDP , by your article. Another reason to have a much newer RV!

-Don- (in 14 degrees F. Reno)

DonTom
12-13-2007, 09:33 AM
What broke?
Simple answer: Something really expensive.
;D
Chip H.


I think Lee realized that at about the same time as the car went "Bang!, Bang!, Bang!". But what could have been the "click, click, click" he heard at the very first sign of the problem?

-Don-

chiph
12-13-2007, 10:09 AM
If it was a rod, it's probably the early stages of it separating, and before it managed to get a good "hold" on the side of the block. It probably flopped around in there for a few moments until it was able to dig-in and break the casting.

Chip H.

DonTom
12-13-2007, 06:05 PM
"If it was a rod, it's probably the early stages of it separating, and before it managed to get a good "hold" on the side of the block."

Yep. I just remembered my 1984 GMC 3/4 ton Van (305 CID) did something like that. Make a light noise for about a mile or so before it really made a lot of noise when the rod broke. BTW, that van could still be driven up to about five MPH with the broken rod.

-Don-

MikeHalloran
12-13-2007, 10:48 PM
I am not real sure if I have ever seen a "flat tappet camshaft"

Probably every one you've ever seen.

'Flat' here refers to the face of the lifter that slides on the cam. I think the face is actually crowned a little, but it looks flat.

Contrast that with a 'roller tappet' or 'roller lifter'.

DonTom
12-15-2007, 10:42 PM
I just found out that Lee took some time off, perhaps to deal with his broken down car. I wonder if he will junk it or buy a new engine and install it with a few of his buddies. He has done such before in other vehicles.

He won't be reading my E-mail (with the link to here) until he gets back to work and I don't know when that will be.

-Don- (SSF)

misterdecibel
12-16-2007, 03:08 AM
A replacement engine from Japan would be cheap. Probably $500 or less for a whole engine with 30,000-60,000 miles on it. Just do a web search for used JDM engines.

Eric
12-16-2007, 08:07 AM
I just found out that Lee took some time off, perhaps to deal with his broken down car. I wonder if he will junk it or buy a new engine and install it with a few of his buddies. He has done such before in other vehicles.

He won't be reading my E-mail (with the link to here) until he gets back to work and I don't know when that will be.

-Don- (SSF)




If you're able to pull/replace an engine yourself - and if you can find a same-type complete used engine at a salvage yard, etc. - you can get back on the road in a weekend and for not much money out of pocket.

If you have to pay someone to do the swap, on the other hand, the cost to do so may not be worth it - even assuming a used engine.

It's important to "do the math" before you do anything - and be aware of how much the whole thing's gonna cost relative to the worth/value of the car itself (as well as the cost of replacing it with something else).

Hope it turns out ok for him....

misterdecibel
12-16-2007, 11:23 AM
If you have to pay someone to do the swap, on the other hand, the cost to do so may not be worth it - even assuming a used engine.



Yeah, labor for even a painless swap would exceed the value of a '95 Probe. I'd junk it now without a second thought.

Eric
12-16-2007, 03:19 PM
If you have to pay someone to do the swap, on the other hand, the cost to do so may not be worth it - even assuming a used engine.



Yeah, labor for even a painless swap would exceed the value of a '95 Probe. I'd junk it now without a second thought.


That's my take also. The car can't be worth more than about $3k - running. Not running, it's worth maybe $500 for parts.

I doubt any shop would do the swap for less than $1,000 - and that's not counting the cost of the replacement engine...

Disco Man
12-16-2007, 05:12 PM
Don,

As a general rule, most cars produced before 1985 have flat tappet camshafts. The worst thing about the whole situation, is that nobody realized the EPA was phasing out ZDDP. The oil companies hid this fact and the ingredients are not listed on the side of a quart of oil. Only in the last few years, after a lot of tappet cam motors have bit the dust, due to premature cam or other internal failures, did the warning flags started popping up. I have known a few guys who lost their numbers matching motors due to the ZDDP being removed - some had rebuilt motors with not many miles.

Never-the-less I think this removal of ZDDP and its effects, may be very good grounds for a class action lawsuit against the EPA.

Who knows the removal of ZDDP may have been a slippery way for the EPA to get more older cars off the road. You can't trust them.

DonTom
12-16-2007, 08:42 PM
Pete,

"some had rebuilt motors with not many miles."

Such as my 400 CID in my RV? I think it had less than ten thousand miles on it and most of those miles were from it's last trip.

Does the lack of ZDDP do any harm to anything other than the flat tappet camshafts?

-Don- (SSF)

Disco Man
12-17-2007, 02:39 AM
Don,

Did you have any problems with your 400 CID V8?

The removal of ZDDP from oil has also led to other problems on older style motors such as premature lifter failure. ZDDP coated most old engine parts during engine runtime especially tappet cams, with it's removal there's not much protection against wear and tear. Apparently premature failure is more prevalent in rebuilt motors since the ZDDP is not there to protect during the stressful cam break-in period. This is why camshaft companies like crane recommend a ZDDP additive be used especially during engine break-in.

DonTom
12-17-2007, 06:44 AM
"Did you have any problems with your 400 CID V8?"

Pete,

In this section, please read the "Engine Meltdown Disaster" thread. There you will get the entire story. But the short answer is that it was NOT a cam related problem. Most likely was either a broken rod or a broken crankshaft.

Was ZDDP added to oil only because of older engines?

Does ZDDP have any advantage at all to newer engines?

-Don- (at my sinecure in San Francisco)

Eric
12-17-2007, 06:52 AM
"Was ZDDP added to oil only because of older engines?

Does ZDDP have any advantage at all to newer engines?"

ZDDP (like lead in gas) was once a "standard component" of engines oils; it has only recently (past 5 years or so) been removed (or concentrations reduced) to help automakers meet increasingly tough new car emissions requirements.

Modern engines use roller-type cams and so the lackof ZDDP isn't an issue. I'd have to check to be certain, but I don't think any new cars (or any cars built in the last several years) use/used flat tappet cams. I think they've been out of comon usage in new vehicles for at least a decade - if not two.

DonTom
12-20-2007, 05:53 AM
"Modern engines use roller-type cams and so the lackof ZDDP isn't an issue. "

What does the ZDDP do, where it only has an effect on the flat cams and nothing else?

Or perhaps I am asking the wrong question. Why do the flat cam whatever (I wish I could see a pix somewhere of both so I cold compare) need a special lubricate that nothing else seems to require?

-Don-

Eric
12-20-2007, 06:31 AM
"What does the ZDDP do, where it only has an effect on the flat cams and nothing else?"

It's a frictionmodifier that acts to buffer the contact patch where the cam's lobe meets the lifter face. With roller-type cams, there is much less friction due to the nature of the roller design, etc.

Disco Man
12-20-2007, 11:40 AM
Adding to the great info Eric provided the reason the EPA has pushed for the phase-out of ZDDP is that the EPA believed ZDDP caused premature catalytic converter failure. I have not seen any scientific studies to prove their position/belief.

On older vehicles with flat tappet cam engines you can either put in a ZDDP additive or you can upgrade to a new roller cam to prevent against failure. Personally I would got with a ZDDP additive since I am have a hunch ZDDP was also protecting other internal areas of older engines.

DonTom
12-20-2007, 11:52 AM
"Personally I would got with a ZDDP additive since I am have a hunch ZDDP was also protecting other internal areas of older engines. "

Friction is friction and I am wondering if it has any negative effect even on newer engines.

I would think newer engines would have less blow-by and have a lot less oil in the exhaust and wouldn't have to worry much about what's in the oil. Not much of it should ever get to the CC. I've noticed in the last few years that it seems engine oil levels don't go down much. Or have we just been lucky?

-Don-

Eric
12-20-2007, 02:03 PM
"Personally I would got with a ZDDP additive since I am have a hunch ZDDP was also protecting other internal areas of older engines. "

Friction is friction and I am wondering if it has any negative effect even on newer engines.

I would think newer engines would have less blow-by and have a lot less oil in the exhaust and wouldn't have to worry much about what's in the oil. Not much of it should ever get to the CC. I've noticed in the last few years that it seems engine oil levels don't go down much. Or have we just been lucky?

-Don-


Well, they're concerned (allegedly, this is the stated reason) about the durabilty of catalysts up to 120,000 miles - which is a long time. Every engine, no matter how "tight" will use at least a little oil; this consumption, of course, will increase with age. An engine with 75,000 miles will probably use more than a brand-new engine - yet the law now requires the automakers to warrant catalytic converters (Read: pay for them if they fail) for 120,000 miles.... so even what seems like an infinitesimal amount of ZDDP "contamination" over time becomes a real issue...

misterdecibel
12-20-2007, 02:58 PM
So what happened with the guy who blew up the Probe? It's been a few days, has he just been doing without transport?

MikeHalloran
12-20-2007, 08:03 PM
The tappet face is actually contacting (with considerable force) and sliding (on the cam surface) while the engine is operating. Because the cam surface is mostly convex and the tappet face is flat, the contact area is theoretically zero; a mathematical line. Both surfaces deflect infinitesimally, so there's a small but finite contact area. The interface needs an extreme pressure lubricant, because the pressure is extreme.

The tappet barrels are also sliding, but the load is much lower. The rocker pivots are sliding, but the pressure is lower because of the much larger contact area.

The rollers, bushings and pins in the various roller chains are sliding a little too, but at a lower velocity, and they get some rest.

(The crank and rod bearings are not sliding on the crank surface; they are separated by a hydrodynamically generated film of oil as soon as the engine starts.)

DonTom
12-21-2007, 01:15 AM
"Every engine, no matter how "tight" will use at least a little oil; this consumption, of course, will increase with age."

Sure, but it seems these days, a later model car will eat a lot less oil at 150,000 miles than any engine from the 1970's that had even 100,000 miles.

But back then, not many engines would even make it to 150,000 miles. Perhaps that's why all the odometers reset to zero at 100K, unlike today. Now, most odometers go to a million miles.

I am not counting the many cars of the 1980's that would leak oil from the intake manifold and "dummy" distributor hole plug gasket for those which had no distributor. Engines such as the 2.8L in my 1988 Biretta that leaked oil at 50K.

I did the work myself at 70K when I got tired of adding oil almost every day. But it never used a drop of oil after that. But at another 68K, the cam chain broke. Or does GM still use nylon gears and it fell off? That happened at 138,000 miles. Then I junked it, as I assumed it was an interference engine as most engines were by then.

I was at a steady speed on the freeway when it broke. Engine dies at 70 MPH. I tried to restart, already expecting it was a timing chain. And sure enough, the starter ran VERY fast just as if there's no compression or load at all.

-Don-

misterdecibel
12-21-2007, 02:40 AM
My mom's '84 S-10 with the 2.8 V6 leaked oil too, lots of it.

Eric
12-21-2007, 06:40 AM
"Sure, but it seems these days, a later model car will eat a lot less oil at 150,000 miles than any engine from the 1970's that had even 100,000 miles."

Probably true; but again, it does not take much contamination to reduce the effectiveness of a catalyst. So even fractional amounts of consumed oil (which contains the additive) will, over time, begin to reduce the converter's effectiveness.

Or that's the claim, anyhow.

What it all comes down to is this:

If you own a new/relatively new (less than 15 years old) vehicle, you've probably got no worries.

But if you own a car built prior to about 1985 ( especially if it's American and has a pushrod/OHV V-8) using the additive with every oil change is probably smart policy.

Better safe than sorry... !

DonTom
12-21-2007, 08:02 AM
"My mom's '84 S-10 with the 2.8 V6 leaked oil too, lots of it."

Did you see oil on top of the intake manifold?

It took me about ten hours to fix it, with the help of the factory service manual. With experience, I bet it can be done in five hours. If no power steering (in the way and must be completely removed) it could be done in a few hours.

Two gaskets to replace. Intake manifold and for the plug for the distributor. That is for the distributor that does NOT exist in the 2.8 V6. And then it won't leak a drop.

And the replacement gaskets must have been better quality than the originals. Or else I do better work than the factory ;D. The originals leaked at 50K. I drove it about 70K miles after the repair without it leaking a drop.

-Don-

DonTom
12-21-2007, 08:10 AM
"So what happened with the guy who blew up the Probe? It's been a few days, has he just been doing without transport?"

I have talked to Lee. He said he has not yet even looked at it and will be very busy until next year (a couple of weeks). I think Xmas and other stuff is keeping him busy right now. He has several kids.

He has other vehicles, so it's not a big problem. Just the other vehicles eat more gasoline, such as his pickup truck. He lives quite a distance from work, where homes cost about half the price of here near San Francisco.

-Don-

DonTom
12-21-2007, 08:17 AM
"The tappet face is actually contacting (with considerable force) and sliding (on the cam surface) while the engine is operating. Because the cam surface is mostly convex and the tappet face is flat, the contact area is theoretically zero; a mathematical line. Both surfaces deflect infinitesimally, so there's a small but finite contact area. The interface needs an extreme pressure lubricant, because the pressure is extreme."

Thanks for explaining that. I now understand the problem.

-Don-

Disco Man
12-27-2007, 11:32 PM
He has other vehicles, so it's not a big problem. Just the other vehicles eat more gasoline, such as his pickup truck. He lives quite a distance from work, where homes cost about half the price of here near San Francisco.

-Don-
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I almost took a job in SF area (San Mateo) back in 1999. I spent a few weeks out there (working for a IT company), I really liked the weather/climate and in general most of the SF area. Since the job was in San Mateo I looked at a few houses in the area, the prices were high even then. For instance one house that I liked in San Mateo which was a 2,000 square foot 35 year old home with a 2 car garage on a postage stamp lot for $795,000. I took a pass on the job. Back then I would have had to move to San Jose for inexpensive housing (or Oakland :o ). Now even San Jose is expensive with little bungalows (no garages) going for well over $600,000.

Remember the TV series - Full House? That nice row house in downtown SF that the family lived in, is probably worth $4 million in today's market.

Eric
12-28-2007, 07:22 AM
He has other vehicles, so it's not a big problem. Just the other vehicles eat more gasoline, such as his pickup truck. He lives quite a distance from work, where homes cost about half the price of here near San Francisco.

-Don-
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I almost took a job in SF area (San Mateo) back in 1999. I spent a few weeks out there (working for a IT company), I really liked the weather/climate and in general most of the SF area. Since the job was in San Mateo I looked at a few houses in the area, the prices were high even then. For instance one house that I liked in San Mateo which was a 2,000 square foot 35 year old home with a 2 car garage on a postage stamp lot for $795,000. I took a pass on the job. Back then I would have had to move to San Jose for inexpensive housing (or Oakland :o ). Now even San Jose is expensive with little bungalows (no garages) going for well over $600,000.

Remember the TV series - Full House? That nice row house in downtown SF that the family lived in, is probably worth $4 million in today's market.




Jeasy peasy... that is depressing. It'd be ok if incomes had/were rising so that people could afford to live in these homes - but even in SF, there's no way a middle class income is sufficient to support a $700-$800k home. You'd need to be earning at least $200k annually to make the mortgage - and even then, it'd be tight.

It's the same in DC - albeit to a lesser extent.

It's unsustainable - and potentially dangerous. I've read that (according to several experts) nationwide, housing values will have to drop at least 30 percent (on average) to restore the balance that existed before the bubble. This will be catastrophic for those who "bought high" and are facing the prospect of being upside down on their mortgages - and for those who bought more house than they could afford (via ARMs) in the hope that the home would appreciate rapidly to make up for that.

Disco Man
12-28-2007, 11:01 AM
Eric,

Well said the problem I see it is that the middle class is disappearing. SF, LA, DC, Boston, NYC, etc. are all places that the middle class can no longer afford to live. For those people who bought at the top of the market and overextended themselves with ARMs, they are in deep doo-doo. As you said prices are coming down, fast and hard especilly in the areas I listed above.

Eric
12-28-2007, 11:58 AM
Eric,

Well said the problem I see it is that the middle class is disappearing. SF, LA, DC, Boston, NYC, etc. are all places that the middle class can no longer afford to live. For those people who bought at the top of the market and overextended themselves with ARMs, they are in deep doo-doo. As you said prices are coming down, fast and hard especilly in the areas I listed above.




It's nuts; I'm glad I'm not 25 right now....

When I bought the house in Sterling (I was single then, this is a couple of years before I met my wife) the place cost $170k. This was for a modest (2,100 sq. ft.) "California contemporary" built in the early '70s, on a slab, on a 1/4 acre lot. By the time we sold in summer 2004, the same house (and others like it) were selling in the $400-$500k range. To put that in perspective, my parents' old place in Oakton (which I think you've seen) only sold for $599k circa 1999. And that was a much larger (and custom-built) house on three acres of land in on a private road in a very desirable area.

So within about five years of that, a much less substantial house on a fraction of the land in a not nearly as nice/desirable area had escalated in price (note - not value) to within spitting range of what a "higher end" home used to go for just a few year earlier.

I would have had a tough time buying our old place in 2004 - even though at the time I was pulling in a very decent annual income just over $100k. The property taxes alone were closing in on $5k annually by the time we left.

I don't see how people earning $50-75k survive up there - even $100k. And that is a pretty solid income. Or used to be.

Luckily for us, my Spider Sense told me the whole thing could not last; that - combined with my dislike of the urban/suburban thing - got us out of there in the nick of time. And we did the opposite of what we, as young Yuppies, were supposed to have been conditioned to do. That is, instead of going from a $400-$500k house in Sterling to a $600 or $700k house in McLean - we skeedaddled, paid off all our debt and bought our present house outright, with cash left over. The best part is that while the price of this house (our current place) was far lower ($270k) we got much more value than we would have for even twice the money in Northern Va.

We were lucky (and smart). Unfortunately, there are millions not as fortunate - and it's going to get really ugly....

DonTom
12-28-2007, 12:32 PM
We just got back to SSF from our Reno home. Snow chain requirement now in the mountains, but it's going to only get worse in the next few days. We took the 4WD cheap. We left at 0300 hrs so there was no line for the tire chain installation. We did not have to bother with chains because 4WD doesn't usually require them until they are about ready to close the road.

"I almost took a job in SF area (San Mateo)"

I lived in San Mateo from the age of 9 to 22. I used to work at GTE Lenkurt in San Carlos. I was the youngest technician there when I was 22.

Your experience with job hunting here reminds me of a nurse who I was writing in Alabama. She discovered she could get twice the pay out here. But then she discovered that homes cost about ten times as much as there. She then decided to stay put.

I just spoke with Lee on the phone. He has visited this thread, but he still has not yet taken a good look at his car.

-Don- SSF

Eric
12-28-2007, 12:34 PM
"I just spoke with Lee on the phone. He has visited this thread, but he still has not yet taken a good look at his car."

Please encourage him to log in; we need new blood!

DonTom
01-24-2008, 10:52 PM
"Please encourage him to log in; we need new blood! "

Lee has not been to work for a couple of weeks or so. He messed up his back from working on his car! But I don't think it was from his Ford Probe, but another car of his that was worth fixing. But I doubt if it was worth his back problem. I don't know all the details yet, but I heard it was a slipped disc so this might be a lasting problem.

And Lee is a good 20 years younger than I am. This reminds me to be careful in my old age.

-Don-

Eric
01-25-2008, 06:54 AM
"Please encourage him to log in; we need new blood! "

Lee has not been to work for a couple of weeks or so. He messed up his back from working on his car! But I don't think it was from his Ford Probe, but another car of his that was worth fixing. But I doubt if it was worth his back problem. I don't know all the details yet, but I heard it was a slipped disc so this might be a lasting problem.

And Lee is a good 20 years younger than I am. This reminds me to be careful in my old age.

-Don-


Messing up your back can happen at any age; all it takes is one awkward movement sometimes...

Hope he gets better soon - and when he does, that he'll visit the site!

DonTom
01-26-2008, 05:42 AM
"Messing up your back can happen at any age; all it takes is one awkward movement sometimes... "

Been there, done that a couple of times. But it's been back muscles, not spinal problems, in my case and it went away in a few weeks each time.

The last time it happened was two summers ago, the morning after I spend most of the day in Frenchman Lake in a small electric boat. The electric motor is in the rear but I had to see where I was going looking forward as I am holding the handle for the electric motor in the rear. There was no problem until the next day when I was sitting at my computer. I felt something moved in my back and then discovered I could not get out of the chair without extreme pain.

But I hear Lee's problem is more serious. Spinal problems usually last, unlike minor back muscle problems.

I will see if I can talk him into posting a message here.

I wonder what he did with his Probe.

-Don-(in rainy SSF)

Eric
01-26-2008, 06:18 AM
"Messing up your back can happen at any age; all it takes is one awkward movement sometimes... "

Been there, done that a couple of times. But it's been back muscles, not spinal problems, in my case and it went away in a few weeks each time.

The last time it happened was two summers ago, the morning after I spend most of the day in Frenchman Lake in a small electric boat. The electric motor is in the rear but I had to see where I was going looking forward as I am holding the handle for the electric motor in the rear. There was no problem until the next day when I was sitting at my computer. I felt something moved in my back and then discovered I could not get out of the chair without extreme pain.

But I hear Lee's problem is more serious. Spinal problems usually last, unlike minor back muscle problems.

I will see if I can talk him into posting a message here.

I wonder what he did with his Probe.

-Don-(in rainy SSF)


Once you experience such an injury - even if relatively minor and passing - you come away with a renewed respect for your body and the importance of mobility. I treat my knees, hips and shoulders/back with great care. I only run on grass (not pavement) and do not exceed 8 miles, even though I could go farther. No squats at the gym; I'd rather have skinny legs and be walking at 70 than need knee replacements at 45!

misterdecibel
01-28-2008, 03:05 AM
Squats aren't bad for your knees unless you have bad form, or if you stop before you get to parallel.

Eric
01-28-2008, 06:40 AM
Squats aren't bad for your knees unless you have bad form, or if you stop before you get to parallel.


I'm 6ft 3 and I am very leery of bending down (squats) with heavy weights; aside from the chance of injury resulting from less than perfect form (almost inevitable with very heavy weights) I think putting 300 or 400 pounds of additional weight (on top of body weight) on load-bearing joints such as knees and hips is not a good idea.

This is anecdotal, but guys who do these heavy-weight squats for years seem to be the ones who can't run anymore - and sometimes have trouble walking, especially up stairs - by their 50s and 60s. Sometimes by their mid-late '40s.

No thanks.

ltjr63
02-08-2008, 05:56 PM
Hey Don,
It's been confirmed! My Probe had a broken timing belt! The guy I sold it to, called me this past Wed.- He had a question about the radio for the car- and then he went on to tell me that he fixed the car already by replacing the valves and timing belt of course.

At the time the car broke down, it never dawned on me that the timing belt broke. Not until the guy I sold it to heard it try to start and suggested that banging sound- which I thought was a broken rod-was bad valves.

I checked and found out that the '95 Probe has an interference engine! Ah man! But what I don't understand is what fell off the engine on the road when it broke down? At least it seemed like something fell off?

I'll tell what? I won't forget about replacing a timing belt again!

chiph
02-08-2008, 07:23 PM
I think putting 300 or 400 pounds of additional weight (on top of body weight) on load-bearing joints such as knees and hips is not a good idea.

That's too much weight -- start with 50 lbs and work your way up to heavier weights over a long period of time, so that the muscles get built up.

But generally, to avoid back pain, just do some exercises in the morning to build up the abs -- some crunches, some leg raises, and 30+ seconds spent in the 'Superman' position.

Chip H.

DonTom
02-08-2008, 09:28 PM
Lee,

I see you're working as hard as usual! I noticed the time & date of your post.

"I checked and found out that the '95 Probe has an interference engine! Ah man! But what I don't understand is what fell off the engine on the road when it broke down? At least it seemed like something fell off?"

It must have been a slipped timing belt, not a broken one. If it broke, your engine would stop right then, not slowly crap out as you explained. Perhaps you heard a piston bang right into a valve or two and sounded like something fell off! At least there was no piston damage.

These days, most cars have interference engines. They now try to get the last drop of efficiently out of every engine for better MPG and performance. I would rather have a noninterference engine, but they are getting scarce these days.

At least my Saturn used a timing chain, which is somewhat unusual in a little engine that's less than 2.0 L.

-Don- (back in SSF, we were in Reno yesterday)