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6.5L Diesel Engine Discuss the 6.5 GM diesel engine & associated components. Automatic transmission questions & problems belong in the 4L80/85 - 4L60E - 6L90 Transmission Forum

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Old 06-06-2015, 05:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
jpolakow
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Evaluating the Viability of a Used Engine

Hello friends,

I have had quite the interesting fiasco with my 6.5. About 2 years ago I had the engine rebuilt, and installed lots of new parts. Ported the heads and intake. ported the stock turbo exhaust housing to a much larger cavity. 4 inch exhaust. All kinds of stuff. I drove the truck for a few moths before embarking on a long trip from San Luis Obispo, CA to Nevada. While driving through the Mojave desert I start to get some high pitched squealing from the turbo. I was in the middle of nowhere, an hour and a half away from anything, so I continued on. Well unfortunately that was the wrong decision. The turbo ate itself up, and being that it is supplied oil from the engine, also decided to vent all engine oil out the exhaust. This caused the engine to run dry and slow to a halt. I was stuck in the desert for 2 days. The truck then sat in a field in the desert for the past year and a half.

Last week I retrieved the truck, bent on getting this thing going, and having a limited time frame to do so. I purchased a used 6.5 with allegedly 40K on it after a rebuild. Sounded like a good deal and I bought it for a grand. Ok now things get interesting. I have until June 20th to be out of my place. So thats the deadline to have the engine done, installed, and running. 2 weeks. This is easy for just a parts swap- but its gets more complicated.

Here's the truck after being retrieved from the desert, it has a fine layer of dust on everything:


The coolant seems to have somehow crystallized:


Old engine being torn down:



Because of the ported heads and intake on the old engine I could not just stick the intake on the unported heads of the "new" engine. The larger ports on the intake would cause flow reversion when the air is constricted to the smaller ports on the head. So the heads have to be swapped- not a bad idea as now I can do head gaskets too. Ok so pulled and inspected the old heads. Everything looks great. No evidence of any debris from the turbo. Having them surfaced right now.

Heads and Block:





Pulled the oil pan and noticed some very fine debris, probably bearing material from the turbo, main bearings, or rod bearings. Not much of it though. Looking good.

Now I start prepping the "new" used engine and start noticing some things that dont seem right. First of all, no openings in the engine were plugged. The following orifices were open, and with evidence of fine particulate matter having entered:
oil fill neck, opening for injection pump, OPS, turbo oil supply port in block, turbo oil drain opening in block, all injector holes, all glow plug holes, all coolant openings, the dipstick opening in oil pan. That was an immediate cause for concern and made me glad I was removing the heads. Also 4 oil pan bolts were missing.
The other items I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

The block warmer seems to have been removed and a freeze plug put in its place. I dont mind that since I live in a warm climate but the plug seems to have been "hammered" in, not using the correct driver. Lots of witness marks of dents from a hammer or other small object that is not large enough to put pressure on the outer diameter of the plug:


There is RTV everywhere, including on the head gaskets. Some places seem reasonable like valve covers and oil pans but I thought RTV on the head was a no-no:






Lots of RTV, more than would seem necessary by someone knowledgeable about what they are doing:


Some of the sealnt doesnt even seem to be RTV, it looks like a clear silicone type sealant:


A brass pipe plug was installed instead of a normal block plug. Why I dont know. What concerns me is it looks like the plug was forced in, and possibly the incorrect thread. Look closely to the right of the plug, there is brass shaving away from the plug. Are these bore holes pipe thread? I cant imagine an experienced engine builder using one of these things nor can I imagine why someone would want to remove one in the first place?


Altogether I am somewhat concerned. All I am using from this used engine is the shortblock. I dont want to waste my time putting together this thing though if the shortblock is crap. What are some things I can do to check the engine health at this point?
A leak down test? [I dont know how to do]
Compression test? [can it be done with engine on the stand like this?]
Pull the main bearing caps?

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Old 06-06-2015, 05:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
jpolakow
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Also for those interested, here is what happens when the turbo commits suicide:

Chip broken off compressor wheel:


Oil everywhere in the exhaust:


Notice I had to cut off 2 of the bolts to remove the housing. The bolts wouldnt budge and I ended up rounding their heads, necessitating cutting. Any tips for their removal would be welcomed.


The bearings self destructed and the shaft sheared:





Last edited by jpolakow; 06-06-2015 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
Freddyack
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IMHO, I think there is a reason the seller pulled the engine after 40,000 miles......

Your pictures show why.

To be safe, you should tear down the short block and make sure.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
jpolakow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddyack View Post
IMHO, I think there is a reason the seller pulled the engine after 40,000 miles......

Your pictures show why.

To be safe, you should tear down the short block and make sure.
Ok gotcha. What should I be looking for? unusual bearing wear? Wear pattern on the cylinder walls? I dont have precision instruments for measuring clearances.

What would you be looking for? I can take lots of pictures and post if you can give me some general things to look for
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the picture with the brass freeze plug there looks to be a large crack in the block...
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
Freddyack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpolakow View Post
Ok gotcha. What should I be looking for? unusual bearing wear? Wear pattern on the cylinder walls? I dont have precision instruments for measuring clearances.

What would you be looking for? I can take lots of pictures and post if you can give me some general things to look for
I've replaced head gaskets but not torn into a block. So all I can give you is my thoughts:

Main bearings: Click Here and Click Here

Cylinder deck, is it flat? use a known straight edge.

Oil pump: is the screen clean, play,

Lifters - replace?

Push rods - are they straight? Ends worn?

Rods: are they straight?

Pistons and rings: check for cracks in the pistons, scuffing on the piston skirts. Rings, check gap and for broken rings.

Crankshaft: scoring/pitting in the bearing journals, cracks, etc

Camshaft: IIRC the lobes are coated/plated so check to see if there is wear through this coating/plating.

Block: cracks in mains area and around the starter area. Cracks in the cylinder walls. look for cross hatched hone marks in the cylinder walls....this is good/ Cracks between cylinders.

Also the factory service manuals are available Click Here
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
jpolakow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddyack View Post
I've replaced head gaskets but not torn into a block. So all I can give you is my thoughts:

Main bearings: Click Here and Click Here

Cylinder deck, is it flat? use a known straight edge.

Oil pump: is the screen clean, play,

Lifters - replace?

Push rods - are they straight? Ends worn?

Rods: are they straight?

Pistons and rings: check for cracks in the pistons, scuffing on the piston skirts. Rings, check gap and for broken rings.

Crankshaft: scoring/pitting in the bearing journals, cracks, etc

Camshaft: IIRC the lobes are coated/plated so check to see if there is wear through this coating/plating.

Block: cracks in mains area and around the starter area. Cracks in the cylinder walls. look for cross hatched hone marks in the cylinder walls....this is good/ Cracks between cylinders.

Also the factory service manuals are available Click Here
Awesome thank you very much Freddy, your help is greatly appreciated. I'm going to see how far I can get tearing the block down tonight before work, will post updates as I go. Again thank you very much. I'm on an extremely tight budget and cannot afford a machine shop to do the status check for me.

Additionally I have lots of pics of how far you can go porting the stock turbo exhaust housing collector thing, and the exhaust manifolds themselves. I had the manifolds welded in a couple places to enable more material removal. Definitely noticed a difference. Will post a thread about it once I'm done with this madness.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
Freddyack
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Plasti-gauge and assembly lube are your friends.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
jpolakow
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Ok time for a quick update before I head to work.

First thing I did was take the valve covers off. Unfortunately one of the valve covers didnt have bolts in it to secure it, and was just kind of hanging there, allowing free reign for all kinds of crap to get in. Not a big deal as I will be cleaning everything.

First thing I noticed was two head bolts are missing, not a good sign:


When taking off the bolts, they all had a red sealer type material just under the head of each bolt. Is this normal?


The red material was on all bolts:


The brass pipe plug seems to plug a water passage that needs cleaning. The threads seemed ok:


Ok everything looked alright with the heads off, not too much of anything on the pistons:


It was really hard to capture pics of the cross hatching on the piston walls, will get better ones tomorrow. Basically all the "scratches" were cross hatching from honing with a limited amount of vertical scratches. Everything seemed to look ok but will inspect in better light tomorrow.




Ok now the bottom end tear down:


Only had time to pull 3 main caps, but they all seemed to look good, I think:










Looking carefully you can see the cam lobes, with a central wear pattern. All lobes looked identical:


The bottoms of the pistons seem a little discolored, almost like burnt oil or something. Not sure if its normal:






The cross hatching in the bottom of the bores looks much better:


Some crap on the oil pump screen:


Somebody sure loves RTV!:


Some things cause me to think this thing was never ran. Look below, RTV is completely filling some of the bolt holes!


The bolts holding on the timing cover dont have the threaded end to hold on the oil fill neck:


Only two water pump bolts were on, and some of the other holes were plugged with RTV!
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
countryboy90
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if you are worried about dirt in the oil galley and engine in general (kinda assume so from your posts) you could pull everything out of the motor and wash it out with dawn and HOT water, then using compressed air blow everything out good and let it sit for a day to finish drying. then reassemble the motor. also, it may just be the picture, but it kinda looks to me like a piston might be cracked in the first picture you posted of the head off, the far back piston

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of course if your truck never breaks then you can never have an excuse to be stuck somewhere remote with a girl...so a reliable truck isn't always desireable

Last edited by countryboy90; 06-07-2015 at 01:07 AM.
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