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Mike924 Reader
4/18/19 8:01 a.m.
CrookedRacer said:

In reply to Slippery :

I’ve got a few options from fellow racers. And I’m heading up to the Porsche-only swap meet at Hershey, PA this Saturday. There will be all kinds of stuff up there, hopefully. I haven’t been before but I hear it is vast. And not just 911’s.

Hershey has lots of bits and pieces.  When i was there 5 years ago the water cooled picking were slim.  It does change from year to year though.  I hope you find what you need.  It is a great Petrol/Porshce head party there.  Plus the Chocolate factory is just across the parking lot!  


akylekoz Dork
4/18/19 12:47 p.m.

I can see the problem, that one piston is sideways, the eyebrows are pointing the wrong way. 

So it looks like the rod broke in the middle then removed its top half from the wrist pin and piston.  Or did the piston give up first, unlikely I would think.  I assume the other half of the rod is still attached to the crank?

Engine carnage is fun to look at, not fun to pay for.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/18/19 8:36 p.m.

The more interesting puzzle is how the rod was able to break away from the piston, discharge the wrist pin completely out the side of its little end, and cut itself in half and toss its little end onto the track. And the little end is closed, not broken open. It’s impressive.

this car has extracted blood, sweat, and tears from me...

...but mostly tears.

And now it is down to the block, and while I had hoped to pull it out the top, it’s really not an option for me. I’m going to have to remove the cross member and drop it. It’s just how it goes.


One fun thing is that the pig pad caught some of the oil and shrapnel, preventing it from falling on track or on the road home!

So tomorrow it rains, and Saturday is Hershey. Sunday I should have more updates.


GCrites80s Reader
4/18/19 8:45 p.m.

My 944 probably did make me bleed the most of all the cars I've owned. Too many jagged tabs jutting out all over the engine bay. Though I even let my 2016 Civic make me bleed within two months of owning it. Just poking around and cleaning it I cut myself like an idiot.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/22/19 8:31 p.m.

This is a 1988 924S engine out of a race car. A fellow racer was kind enough to sell it to me. 

I also picked up this welder for a nice price, since he had one too many...


I’m hoping the bores on that lump are ok, and I plan to do the rings, head gasket, and rod bearings before putting it into my car.

while I await those parts to arrive, I am tearing down the broken one.

Caution, the following pictures are graphic in nature. Viewer discretion is advised.

First I took all the practically new bits off the front...

So the seals are all ok. That oil leak must have been from the oil pump or the oil cooler console... or from the lower balance shaft bearing housing. I can’t really tell now, since everything is oily.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/22/19 8:40 p.m.

The most informative thing here is that the #2 bearing is completely gone. If it had been a sudden failure of the piston, or wrist pin, the bearing would likely still be there. I found fine bearing flakes on the oil plug too.

So it seems like a classic #2 bearing failure, taken to its inevitable conclusion.

Im going to have to be careful what I reuse on the new engine... it will all need to be thoroughly cleaned if it ever saw the oil from the broken engine.

akylekoz Dork
4/22/19 9:06 p.m.

Oh the horror!  I hope I can sleep tonight, images of piston and twisted rod will haunt my every thought.

Mike924 Reader
4/23/19 11:02 a.m.

Great find on that 924S motor.  Did you get that at the Hershey Swap meet, or outside.  

From what I heard, the vendor turn out last weekend was not very good due to the weather. 

CrookedRacer Reader
4/23/19 12:03 p.m.

Rain probably did discourage a lot of vendors... there were a lot of empty marked spaces. ...but it only sprinkled a little bit early on, then stayed dry.

i enjoyed looking at the concours, particularly a wide body 914 that was soooo clean.

all the 944’s for sale were too nice to cannibalize.. one was asking 20k for an early Guards Red example. I honestly hope he got that, but wow, that’s a lot for an NA fo fo.

Nobody brought blocks to Hershey except an 89 2.7 which would be illegal in ST6 anyway (asking $1250). I saw somewhere on FB that one vendor was going to bring two NA blocks, but I guess they didn’t come, or I missed them.

I got this engine through personal connections from a fellow racer in Richmond who had three to choose from. He’s a busy dad, but he’s going to come back to racing eventually, and I just think all it would take is a wrenching party weekend to get one or both of his race cars back on track.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/23/19 8:50 p.m.

I guess this oil pickup tube seal was ok, despite a good part of it being pinched out of its cavity.

I suspect the oil seals on this oil console were what was leaking prior to the failure.



These are two of the bearings that didn’t fail. They look pretty bad. There is so much second guessing I could do; so many theories.. I just don’t want to type them all. It would fill another page here.


irish44j MegaDork
4/23/19 10:40 p.m.

I'll say, those look way worse than the ORIGINAL 1988 bearings I pulled out of my 924S two years ago (to replace preventively). Granted it wasn't a track car, but still..... 

CrookedRacer Reader
4/24/19 5:04 a.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Agreed. What I can’t tell is whether this wear is over time or the presumably shorter period when the oil was full of bearing flakes after #2 failed.

My running theory right now is that the oil has been too thick. The last two weekends (November and March) were very cold. The external oil cooler might have been keeping it below an optimal operating temperature, even during sessions. Or even just at the beginning of sessions... same damage is occurring.

The oil change after November looked really good, but maybe I should have gotten it analyzed.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/25/19 5:43 a.m.

I’ve received the freshening parts... rings, top end seal kit, bearings, oil filter, and rod nuts.

I also ordered a new oil cooler because the old one is probably packed with bearing bits. And I’ll pick up a couple cans of brake cleaner to flush things like the AN lines.

I’m going to also turn my attention to the oil thermostat. I didn’t open it or work on it when I got it. If it’s jammed open or closed, it may have been the cause of all of this.

I really hope I can find a smoking gun.


TED_fiestaHP Reader
4/25/19 6:27 a.m.

    I had something similar happen, I reused the AN fittings, but replaced all the hose.   It's a small cost to help ensure you don't have another similar failure.   The motor I had ran great but the oil pressure was always a tiny bit low, then one day it was a little lower, should have shut it off, and quit for the day.  It didn't run much longer after that.  It could have been a fairly easy fix, but since I kept running it, there wasn't much left.  I did reuse the valve cover.....

     Do you have a oil temp gauge?


CrookedRacer Reader
4/28/19 7:48 a.m.

In reply to TED_fiestaHP :

I don't have an oil temp gauge. But I want one. Or two.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/28/19 8:29 a.m.

I have some clues from the breakdown of the engine...

1) The oil filter had no oil in it. Everyone knows a used oil filter will spill oil everywhere and seep oil out of its media forever. This filter was pretty much dry. Which means the entire VIR event saw no filtering going on, not to mention the actual failure event at Summit Point.

2) The oil thermostat was jammed in place by debris. I got the valve out with needlenose pliers but it took a lot of cleaning and a lot of work with the scotchbrite to smooth the gouged surfaces so it would slide freely again.

3) The oil in the oil cooler and what little was near the oil filter was clean. The oil left in the engine was filthy and smelled burnt.

Finally, I now recall the oil pressure gauge would peg it's gauge (5+) when starting. I don't know when that happened the first time. But I am guessing it was after the oil change before VIR. I just figured I have oil pressure, so that's good. Cold oil normally registers higher until it warms up. But normally it's around 4, dropping to 3.


jimgood New Reader
4/28/19 8:51 a.m.

Wow. That's weird about the oil filter. So, what does the oil have to pass through to get from the pump to the filter?

CrookedRacer Reader
4/28/19 3:42 p.m.

In reply to jimgood :

Precisely. What could block the oil?

The oil goes from the pickup to the cradle to the oil pump to ... Van Svenson explains it best...


8:45 is where he starts the oiling system.


CrookedRacer Reader
4/28/19 7:45 p.m.

Mine is a little different. The oil goes from the pump to the oil thermostat.

If it is cold, the thermostat is closed, so oil goes to the oil filter, and then to the oil galleys to lubricate the crank and the head.

if it is hot, the thermostat pushes against a spring (opens) and diverts some or all of the oil to the oil cooler, and then it returns to the oil galleys, crank, and head.

I believe my oil thermostat got jammed by debris around the time of my pre-season oil change (or possibly before then). Oil was only going to the oil cooler. The oil pump has a lot of work to do getting that cold, thick oil through the cooler and back to the engine BEFORE it can even try to lubricate a bearing.

I can see how the oil pressure would get pegged in this condition, simply because all that oil isn’t moving much, if at all. I imagine It’s like trying to pump molasses through a coffee filter.

During cold events, a lot of wear was occurring, to all the bearings, but of course, especially #2, which is the most susceptible to damage.

That’s my best theory at this point.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/28/19 8:17 p.m.

I’ve got a new oil cooler and AN lines ready to install.

I got the head off the new engine, and it is pretty corroded. I’m going to use the good one from my blown engine... if I can.

Now, when I drained the oil pan and an even mix of water and oil came out, I was not feeling optimistic about the condition of this engine. But when I removed this gasket, it didn’t look bad at all! In fact, the cylinders are absolutely perfect. There are no scratches to even evaluate.

the bottom end is pretty clean.

Except for the pickup. I’ll reuse mine.

The oil pan was pretty ugly but cleaned up nicely.


I’m just about ready to do the rings and bearings and close up the bottom end.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/28/19 8:26 p.m.

The clutch I had in my car looks like this:

The clutch that came with the new engine looks like this:

Im just curious about the differences between the two. Which is better for me?

Slippery SuperDork
4/28/19 9:44 p.m.

I cannot tell you what the differences are, but if it was me I would use yours. Its a known qty. as I assume you were not having any problems with it.

jimgood New Reader
4/29/19 5:48 a.m.

Awesome progress, John. 

TED_fiestaHP Reader
4/29/19 7:40 a.m.

  I had that same oil cooler on my fiesta race car, but I didn't have a oil thermostat, and I used 20-50 oil.

    I had my share of interesting issues, but not like what you had.

      Wonder what the oil thermostat actually did, did it block all the oil flow or what....

        Where is the oil pressure gauge connected, is it connected near the oil filter, the filter is the last place the oil goes before getting to the actual engine parts.

   Do you run a accusump?  I added a T fitting to the oil cooler oil hose and added the accusump.

CrookedRacer Reader
4/30/19 8:15 a.m.

Some pictures of the oil cooler console to talk about.

It pokes a hole in my theory to know that the oil pressure sensor is located AFTER the oil returns from the oil cooler.

Where could the oil be blocked inside the block?

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