Prairie to Pine Co. wrote:
My two Bits. Back in the day. I sold an older lady (A Friend from church) a new 91 Metro with the 3cyl. 5speed. at a little over 1 year, and with just under 9000 miles on it, the head had to come off, Burned exhaust valve in Cyl. #2.
That is very interesting. 5spds with burned valves and none with automatics. One thing I can say about my burning up two sets of valves in such short order is that I never drove the car any differently from one head build to the next and this last build has seen -18* fahrenheit winters and 103* summers. This car really seems to struggle more to maintain freeway speeds when temperatures get around zero degrees fahrenheit. I'm not sure if it is because the air is more dense, thus more wind drag, but it definitely doesn't cruise as well. Other than that, it doesn't seem to care.
Also interesting to note that we both had cylinder #1 as being the strong one. Cyl #1 never failed nearly like 2 and 3 did.
My head rebuilder really doesn't seem like a BS'er, and he says he has rebuilt hundreds of these heads over the years, and it is a common problem. He doesn't do nearly as many now as he used to, but he still sees them and knows them well. He is kind of one of those people who knows nothing about anything other than heads. He said that I was the first to have a head come back to him in such short order, and right away, neither of us were positive about what caused them to fail. He suspected abuse, but I told him I had other cars which were way more fun to abuse. We looked into plugged exhaust, and that wasn't the cause for sure.
I cannot see how engine lugging would do any harm to the valves, although the rod bearings definitely do not like it, and with the oil pressure being low as well, it can't do it much good.
But then again, I could never see how high oil consumption would burn up valves, provided it wasn't leaving deposits which would insulate the valve from its seat, which was not my case.
Here's more food for thought: In the last year and a half, I had two customers come to me with low compression issues due to bad valves. One was a 4 cyl non-turbo 1991 Dodge Daytona that has probably 300,000 miles on it now. The odometer quit at 223,000 many years ago. The engine in the car lived a really good life for its first 80,xxx miles (I swapped it in and knew all of that engine's history), and the valves gave out when the engine had an estimated 200,000 miles. She neglects the car, but does not abuse it if that makes sense. I just replaced the engine (it is now on its 4th engine) because it would be cheaper and faster than rebuilding the head. In retrospect, I installed the engine back in May? of 2011. I always write dates/miles on the oil filters I install now. She still has not changed the oil in that engine. But I did install a new filter just a few months ago.
2004 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V. It had the exact same symptoms as my 1.0 Suzuki had, and I believe has the exact same valve train setup. High oil consumption which was probably caused by bad rings since there was never any visible smoke and burned up valves around 176,000 miles. He didn't change the oil because it consumed so much.
See a pattern? The Chrysler 2.5L 4 cyl has a different valvetrain setup (lash adjuster/follower) and is not particularly notorious for valve burnage, but I suppose the same principles could apply. People DO neglect their oil changes. And it is possible that with a failure in less than 9,000 miles, there could easily be a run of heads that didn't have proper valve margin or proper guide clearance.
>>6 pages of updates and an explanation that he cured burning valves by properly installing
>>some new Hastings Piston Rings makes this a thread to watch.
Well, I can't purely state I installed them PROPERLY. The cylinders had lots of taper, which is arguably a no-no and will increase ring land wear, and the cylinder hone I use is similar to what you'd get from Harbor freight. I started with the coarse stones and finished with the fine ones. I did this to a lot of engines with zero issues. I start coarse to clean things up a bit more effectively and then go to fine so the rings don't get beat up by rough walls. I even use my own ring gap orientation which differs from what at least some service manuals suggest to use. I always place all gaps my gaps at 45* from the crank center line, and within a pair, they are 180* from each other. Top pair is 90* from the bottom pair. I hope that makes sense. I am definitely a novice engine builder, but call it luck if you must, I only had one of my builds be a failure ever in my life, and that was because of sand in an intake manifold. (long, interesting story/lesson there) The machine shop also left steel blasting material in the oil passages, so it may have failed via other methods, too. I paid them to install the oil galley and core plugs, so they should've cleaned out the galleys.
>>There is no need to race the engine to keep from burning valves and it certainly can't be
>> attributed to using premium gasoline.
Some on the forum have told me to not drive these cars over something like 70 mph as they "weren't designed for that" or something to that nature. I've made quite a few 2 hour each way 75+ mph blasts to Duluth, MN and back with the car and it really didn't seem to care at all.
>>As a matter of fact, the piston rings may well outlast his body and frame.
From the way things are going, I think you are going to be right on that one. The rings have 60,000 miles on them with questionable installation conditions due to the wall taper. Heck, my piston ring compressor was barely small enough to use. I had to muscle them into their bores much more aggressively than I was comfortable doing. The pistons should nearly fall in, but I had to push down on the piston and wiggle the ring compressor around and tap on the piston simultaneously, but they eventually went in and are obviously working well. I remember it having a lot of crankcase vapors--like an oil fog under the oil cap for a few hundred miles, but it seems fine now and runs great.
Come to mention it, I DO NOT EVEN HAVE A PISTON RING INSTALLER TOOL. I never used one ever in my life. You don't need one unless you are a frequent engine builder. You just have to be careful as you peel them on and off of the pistons by hand.
>>Someone wishing to prolong his engine would do well to read carefully what he's done to this
>>engine and how he arrived at his decision to install those particular rings.
I made the decision on the rings simply because... I think it was because they were all that were readily available other than some cheap ones on ebay that I never heard of before. I can't remember for sure because it was so long ago. My head rebuilder had Hastings as one of his suppliers, so that is how I got them. They were reputable like Federal Mogul and I knew lots of people who have used them as a brand with no problems as long as they knew what they were doing. Piston rings are a place that gives people great opportunities to mess something up. Make sure you don't install them upside down, make sure end gap orientations are right, make sure end gaps are not too small, and don't break them while installing them, and don't force them into the engine bores like I had to do.
I am looking to get another 40,000 miles out of the car. By then, the rings/head will have lasted 100k. The only thing I haven't done with the car is take it on interstate road trips. The lack of cruise control makes me not look forward to it. It has been to the Lake Superior north shore many times, I've driven to Oshkosh WI, to Madison, to Monroe and back home again. I brought home the replacement engine for my 2003 Sonata with the car by placing the engine it where the passenger seat would go. It is nothing for me to do 100 miles in a day.
I must also add that if anyone has lots of time to spend and wants to try an experiment, find a solid lash adjuster engine and set the valve lash to zero. It'll run and sound just fine, but valves will burn up in time. I am still sticking to that being the cause of my valve failures.