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bills
bills New Reader
6/15/14 10:51 p.m.

Considering buying an NA Miata. Find one that needs some work, and talk to the guy. He bought the Miata after his previous car blew a head gasket and it was too expensive to repair. Drives the Miata 6 months, and one of the valves drops into the engine causing extensive damage. A shop puts in a used engine, and a year later it is blowing white smoke out the tailpipe and smells like coolant.

Seems like a lot of car problems in a short time. Talking to him he seemed to be a reasonable person with common sense. Made me wonder what the heck someone could do to have this many problems? Just unlucky?

Any ideas or comments?

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/15/14 10:57 p.m.

Luck wouldn't surprise me. I`ve had 3 heads trashed in less than a year and a half at no fault of my own.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/15/14 11:09 p.m.

Sometimes being cheap can cost a lot of money.

novaderrik
novaderrik PowerDork
6/16/14 12:53 a.m.

putting a junkyard engine from one sports car into another sports car is a crap shoot... the donor vehicle wound up in the junkyard for some reason, and in the case of something like a Miata, it's probably not from being driven too gently..

but even new cars can blow up new factory replacement engines: my grandpa told me how my dad went thru 3 engines under warranty in a one year period in the 69 Z/28 he bought brand new when he got back from southeast Asia... they couldn't figure out how he kept blowing up a solid lifter equipped 302 inch V8 that revved to 8000+ rpm and was in a car with 4:10 gears driven by a 20 year old that just got back from a year long military deployment to a war zone, so they bought the car back from him..

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UberDork
6/16/14 1:51 a.m.

I've killed both a Camry 5S-FE and a N/A GM 3800 S2, E36 M3 happens. It seems to be the cars I'm NOT kind to are the most reliable.

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
6/16/14 5:09 a.m.

Blown head gasket, eh something happened who knows?

Dropped valve, rare enough to say it never happens, he was damned unlucky there.

Bad used engine, shop installed the cheapest engine they could find, and/or they couldn't find anything but that one.

noddaz
noddaz Dork
6/16/14 6:49 a.m.

Even GRM toasted multiple engines on the Camry project... happens...

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane Reader
6/16/14 7:15 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: Sometimes being cheap can cost a lot of money.

Quoting for truth here..

But it sounds like this guy just got the short end of the stick that "year." He's probably ready for a nice car payment for a while..

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler Dork
6/16/14 8:35 a.m.

I've done it, but they were rotaries, so it probably doesn't count.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
6/16/14 8:51 a.m.

Some people have it and some people don't.

My youngest son has blown up almost everything he's ever owned. Cars, bikes, it doesn't matter, he finds a way to grenade the motor. My oldest son beats the E36 M3 out of everything he drives, and never had a single failure.

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
6/16/14 8:51 a.m.

Some people can destroy a cannonball in a sandbox with their bare hands....

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
6/16/14 9:03 a.m.

Could be done in a single day with boost and poor self-control...

Someone on this board did it with a 1UZ, turned out to be due to poor crankcase ventilation. Not kidding.

cwaters
cwaters Reader
6/16/14 9:03 a.m.

I can see how this could happen to a normal person. I suspect there are those on this forum who'd KILL to have such a paltry # of engines die in that time period.

slefain
slefain UltraDork
6/16/14 9:37 a.m.

My cousin killed a Slant-6. Some people are just gifted in strange ways.

MOTO_RR
MOTO_RR New Reader
6/16/14 10:03 a.m.

I've gone through.... 2 engines and a transmission in a year and a half with my mustang.

Subaru RS/wrx- 2 engines in 3 months

300z- 2 ecu's and a transmission in 2-3 weeks after built

Guess what.... #beattocrap

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 HalfDork
6/16/14 10:49 a.m.

Not maintaining and changing oil and coolant can blow up engines. I blew up two Honda D-engines in two years, one was from an overheating issue.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
6/16/14 11:26 a.m.

Occasionally, placing the gear shift lever in 2nd instead of 4th will send valve parts tinkling out the exhaust.

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
6/16/14 11:55 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Occasionally, placing the gear shift lever in 2nd instead of 4th will send valve parts tinkling out the exhaust.

That one is the source of spectacular awesomeness......

NGTD
NGTD SuperDork
6/16/14 12:49 p.m.

My mom had an engine almost let go in her 2004 Legacy due to piston slap. Subaru agreed to replace it. The second engine lasted less than 20k kms (12k miles). Subaru also agreed to replace it. I think the original replacement was just a bad engine. She drives like a grandma because she is one!

BTW all maintenance done as per the factory requirements at the dealer.

E36 M3 happens!

egnorant
egnorant SuperDork
6/16/14 1:50 p.m.

Local police had a car (crown vic) that lost 2 engines the first year! 3 other similar cars performed flawlessly and the only clue was that there were a couple of episodes of the temp gauge maxing out in 30 seconds. The air conditioning would suddenly blow hot too.

When the 3rd engine first showed a temp gauge spike they rebuilt everything cooling system related, checked the sensors, fan operation...everything. 2 days later it spikes again so they sell it "as is" to me.

I get a gauge spike and look under the hood and notice the fan is not running so I thump the connector and the fan starts! Cleaned a little corrosion, a little tlc and I drove the car for 3 more years with no problem!

Sometimes the oddest things will cause a chain of events.

The only engine I ever lost was due to a bad temp sender...and a small leak...and 105 degree Texas summer. Summer and the leak I knew about, temp sender fooled me.

Bruce

spitfirebill
spitfirebill PowerDork
6/16/14 1:50 p.m.

My son could have done it.

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
6/16/14 2:34 p.m.
novaderrik wrote: my grandpa told me how my dad went thru 3 engines under warranty in a one year period in the 69 Z/28 he bought brand new when he got back from southeast Asia... they couldn't figure out how he kept blowing up a solid lifter equipped 302 inch V8 that revved to 8000+ rpm and was in a car with 4:10 gears driven by a 20 year old that just got back from a year long military deployment to a war zone, so they bought the car back from him..

I think those were just built, ran like E36 M3, blew up, and then repeated that 3 step process over their lifespan. I berkeleying hate having to drive first gen z/28's through the auctions. Oddly enough, I don't think the Boss had that problem.

Fobroader
Fobroader Reader
6/16/14 2:34 p.m.

Well yeah, used engines are a crapshoot and lack of maintenance could be a major factor....but 3 engines in 3 years....is he into tractor pulls??

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
6/16/14 2:52 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Occasionally, placing the gear shift lever in 2nd instead of 4th will send valve parts tinkling out the exhaust.

I remember a funny song posted to the RX-7 Mailing List (remember those?)

"Around and around the Firebird track/

The M3 was really revvin'/

Shifted to 2nd gear instead of 4th/

POP! Goes the engine"

One of the first victims of the piece of E36 M3 motor mounts in the E36 chassis M3.

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
6/16/14 2:55 p.m.
yamaha wrote: Oddly enough, I don't think the Boss had that problem.

Boss 302s had near 100% failure rate on the pistons. The skirts would crack.

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