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Discussion Starter #341 (Edited)
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

And now, the moment you've all been....err, I'VE been waiting foorrrr.....



Aaaannnd boom goes the dynamite.

All four of the cam bolts came out without issue. Well, just kidding. The first one I tried, the driver's side intake, actually began to round out as the 10mm bit was starting to turn inside there. I yelled "fuck!" out loud and sat there for a bit, thinking of my next step. But something told me to try one more time.

So I reseated the bit and realized I had it slightly at an angle and not all the way in the first time(no idea how). I slowly applied force, and with some muscle and an extension on the breaker bar, soon enough I heard that satisfying metallic loud crack of the bolt breaking loose. I was ecstatic, and thought "it wasn't that bad." 1 down, 3 to go. Then moved to the driver's exhaust. This one came out just fine. No rounding of the bolt whatsoever. Then I removed the passenger valve cover to watch for anything while taking off those cam gears. And with the good vibe momentum happenin', I removed the passenger exhaust and lastly the intake. I'm super happy that this all went smoothly. They all seemed to be torqued equally and required roughly the same amount of force to break free.

Really what you need to do to make this go right is to rotate and time the motor such that all the notches on the cam gears and the crank pulley line up with the notches on the timing belt cover and block; I think a lot of other people in threads I've seen forget stuff like this and get too worried they'll bend valves and shit. Before applying the belt, I made sure to rotate the lobes off the buckets so that any stretch/play in the belt from applying force wouldn't open the valves. And speaking of applying force, it helps to know how to break things loose the right way. I isolated each gear by itself and looped the belt around it tight and snugged up with a pair of vice grip pliers. Then, I wrapped the other end of the belt real tight around the pulley closest to the gear, clamping down hard on the opposite side with another pair of vice grips. Then with another pair of grips, I clamped down in between the gear and pulley.

More of the same here, but interesting nonetheless:











Next up is cleaning up components and removing the cams! Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #343 (Edited)
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Ok, updates....updates...

First and foremost, I can't believe I'm actually saying this....but despite my clear instructions, including a picture of the parts with clear instructions written/drawn on it, checking in to make sure the instructions were received and understood, SwainTech has effed up the job yet again. I am absolutely stunned that it happened again. I spoke to Mike @ SwainTech right after I got the part back, who I've talked to several times, and he fully admitted flat-out that I did everything correctly on my end, yet there was a disconnect between the front end and the shop, and they never saw my instructions.

After asking what could be done, I was met with reluctance and hesitation for any other option than me fixing it myself. Yeah............that's right, me correcting their mistakes yet again, when I was unsuccessful the first time. When I asked if could be refunded the work, reimbursed for the parts, send the parts back to have the material removed....all met with stiff resistance to help me. He said they could try to remove the coating by grinding, but that they couldn't guarantee fit; of course. I then asked if I could send them back with the vbands and the EWG for test-fit. "Well, that's really not what we do." I mean, what? Thanks? I was also told a few times that I'm the only one who's asked this of them, that others don't have this issue(really?), and that my request was special(even though I was also told several times they could do this easily, which is why I had them do this in the first place). Isn't this a specialty kind of work? I guess I'm too special.

I mean, they have been in business for years now, doing work for countless customers, big-name racing teams and the like, and they are basically leaving me no realistic option on the table. They won't stand by their mistake and make it right. I'm one guy. I get that they want to try and save the parts, but they won't even stand behind their mess-up enough to even offer me a discount on the work, let alone anything else. Essentially, I haven't gotten what I agreed to pay for and what they agreed to produce correctly.

The part is essentially unusable in this state, as the vbands cannot close completely around the flanges because of the added thickness from the coating. I am honestly speechless about this whole ordeal. So that's all I can do at this point, since I'm not there in NY physically to pursue this further. I will try real hard to hand-file the coating off the flanges this time.

Anyways, on to more positive happenings...

I got around to removing the pulleys, the rear timing covers, cam journal halves, and the cams out. After that, I began the process of removing the head bolts. I got through a few on the passenger side, but then I ended up rounding off the upper left head bolt completely and no longer getting a bite with the socket. I tried drilling the bolt out and got decently far, stepping up with bit sizes, with slow speed and oil for lubrication, but I was starting to dull the bits. So I had a specialist weld a nut on and he got the bolt loose since I don't have welding gear. While he was at it, I had him weld another nut on to the sheared rear bolt from the P/S pump bracket and he extracted it. Awesome!

Removed the heads, bolts and gaskets last night, and cleaning up leftover oil and coolant. Have a look-see at the pics below:

Driver side:


Passenger side:




Passenger side head:


Driver side head:


So there's oil in the cylinders on the driver's side, and cylinder 2's combustion chamber has oil on it as well, but I believe that oil got past the pistons due to the motor being on it's side for a couple days to prevent shavings from falling in to the crankcase/oil pan. I didn't want to risk anything falling in from rotating the motor on the stand. Plus I was transporting the motor around in that orientation as well. The other cylinders have a smaller amount as well, but again the motor hasn't been flat for a few days. The other chambers are dry.

The gaskets held a seal I believe(hard to tell with taking the heads off and still having some fluids messing about), but the piston tops were largely dry. It looks the gasket material was giving way for sure, as it all broke apart and split into tons of little pieces. Yeah, only 30k miles, but 10 years old, so....

The spark plugs look mostly ok I think, but I may replace those too. There's build-up and deposits in the combustion chamber and the tops of the cylinder walls near the deck. Anyone want to take a close look and see if it's normal? Jason, have some time to come by and inspect?

Next up is taking the heads to a local machine shop and having them take a look; do work if necessary, that kinda stuff. I will take a feeler gauge to the block deck and check tolerances, gotta find those numbers too. If anyone knows feel free to comment, otherwise I'll search around.

I ordered a cam lock tool that I found on a deal, some washers, bolts, tensioner, and pulleys.

'til next time!
 

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Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

V-bands have resistance without the coating. Have you tried to tighten down the V-band to suck it all in yet?

As far as SwainTech, it's this sort of stuff that will have me discontinue use of their service and recommend people to just go to a local coating place and get standard ceramic.

As far as the motor, it looks fine. The gasket is going to break away like that when good. Once you squish that gasket down, the rubber flattens out. Plugs are a good idea, especially when it's on a stand and you can feel the torque. If you're worried about valve stem seals at all, now is the time to replace them and super easy, but wait until after you have the head shaved as you'll have to do some cleaning anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #345
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Oh yeah, I tried tightening them down alright, on the first uppipe set after it had gotten coated; definitely couldn't get the vbands to come anywhere close to closing. I even test-fit the EWG and vbands after getting the 2nd virgin uppipe(before coating) and it barely fit. In fact I have to take a bit of material out of the clamps to allow the bolt go in easier.

Yeah, I'm not so sure I'm gonna go to them in the future. This whole situation is ridiculous to say the least.

Thanks for the info. Yeah, I will look into the seals as well. I will see what Daly's says about the heads. I stopped by there on Monday to see what they could do but they were busy at the time.

What do you think about the reddish-brown coloring on the pistons? What may be the cause there? How about the level of build-up? There's definitely a thickness to it. Normal carbon deposits that should burn off when running E85?
 

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Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Buy a new set of V-Bands & have them welded in properly.

If shipping wouldn't be a pain I'd say send em over & I give them to Lars to weld, I might even have the right diameter weld in V-Band set laying around.

Damn man, that really sucks. I hate bad service as much as you.
 

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Discussion Starter #348
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

You could always take them to small claims court. I wouldn't let them get away with it, if it were me.
Yeah, I've been thinking about how to go about doing that. Doing nothing will just allow them to keep doing this shit.

Buy a new set of V-Bands & have them welded in properly.

If shipping wouldn't be a pain I'd say send em over & I give them to Lars to weld, I might even have the right diameter weld in V-Band set laying around.

Damn man, that really sucks. I hate bad service as much as you.
I would, but I'm not really clear on sizing vbands. Thanks for the consideration!

Pretty surprised at the result, yeah. This is totally fixable by them but it seems they won't do anything about it.
 

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Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

We've had a few hundred headers coated by Swain Tech they ALWAYS coat the v-band flanges and it's NEVER been a problem. Header V-Band Flanges, EWG V-Band flanges, Dump tube V-Band flanges, Turbine housings with V-Bands, Downpipe, etc... This is just us, they do boat loads of stuff for others in the motorsports industry, race teams, etc. as well. All done the same way. Eat some Wheaties if you're having problems getting the clamp on ;)

I can understand why they think your request seems off the wall to them, because no one does it that way. If you want those surfaces clean, you might want to look at another process. I really wouldn't think about it twice though. A long as the mating faces of the v-bands are clean you're good!

After it's gone on/off a few times it will go on/off almost as easy as if there was no coating. Taking them off you put a flat blade screwdriver between the clamp halves and they pop right off too.

Their process is rather unique and they can only mask surfaces with certain orientations to molten ceramic being blasted onto the substrate (at supersonic speed). We had one application with a custom flange that could not have anything on it and it had to be masked inches away to assure nothing worked its way through the mask and onto the surfaces. Doing something like that on an up-pipe to accomplish the same effect would be near pointless.

If you spelled it all out and they did it wrong, or never called to question you, I can understand your frustration. They should have called to say "hey man, we never do them like this." or something to that extent. The 'normal' way they do them has been like that for long before turbo EJ engines were in the US. So while your story seems like they are incompetent idiots, keep in mind the guy processing the parts NEVER does them your way and probably assumed you don't understand their process, but still want your stuff coated.

Regardless, I do understand your frustration here. You should have got a call when they came across your parts/instructions, but like I said before. Don't sweat it. The parts will work just fine as proven over years of usage by thousands of people.
 

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Discussion Starter #351
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Thanks for the insight and your thoughtful reply. I appreciate the post and your feedback. I have your baffle and pickup tube installed in my motor and can't wait to put them to work when the motor is back together!

Let's be clear about some things though. First, let it be known that I am not trying to give them a bad name, nor do I want to; all I'm doing is speaking about my experience with them. I have my manifold pieces coated by them also(if you haven't been following my journal), and I am very pleased with their work on those pieces. I'm sure it's going to hold up strong to the heat:)

I am reasonably familiar with their process, what happens and what it takes to get there. I know they have done work for years for numerous clients, and high-profile clients too; I stated that above in the post.

Second, yes, it's true they need to mask in a particular fashion which allows them to get the coating on all surfaces, which means flanges included. However, they specifically stated to me on a few occasions/phone calls that they could stay a few inches back from that area and they would mask the flanges in such a way that would leave them uncoated. This is the work I paid for and agreed upon. Mike told me and reassured me that they could produce what I was asking, and instead, they didn't for reasons beyond my control. Mike told me directly that that I did everything correctly on my end and that the mix-up was on their end. And this is the second time. The fact they are resistant to make it right is the main concern here. That is why I'm upset.

Again, I am not out for blood or whining. I am not one of those guys who complains about steaks, or believes in that "customer is always right" blah-blah BS. I even told Mike I wasn't coming down on him, I know people make mistakes and I know they are not incompetent or idiots. I didn't want my story to come off that way. But in the same vein, when you make mistakes, you try your best to make it right or try not to let it happen again, and not working with the customer doesn't right any wrongs. I was as calm as possible over the phone and was respectable. I hope he knows that.

As a customer, I am simply saying I did not receive the intended product. I think this is a legitimate concern. I agree, had I not been told that my instructions were not possible or if it was unclear, then yes, they should've called and said we can't do that. But they were very clear and I was told more than once that this was something they could do. That's one of the reasons I had them do this work in the first place.

In any case, I will try a good set of hand files.
 

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Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

I am simply saying I did not receive the intended product. I think this is a legitimate concern.
Agreed.

In any case, I will try a good set of hand files.
You tried without?

A 3-segment v-band clamp should go on fairly easy. A clamshell style common on the EWGs might need a plier to close them the first time, but should go.
 

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Discussion Starter #353
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

You tried without?

A 3-segment v-band clamp should go on fairly easy. A clamshell style common on the EWGs might need a plier to close them the first time, but should go.
Yes, the first time this happened, I tried an older set of files which got me nowhere. I also used a Dremel, which wasn't helping much either. I was just rounding off bits.

Last night I tried with new files and was somehow able to get the dump tube clamp to close far enough to allow the bolt to go in both clamp holes, so that will now fit on the dump side of the EWG. The pipe side is a different story. I filed for 2 hours on that, and the clamp won't close enough to get the bolt through. I am either going to widen the bolt holes slightly or keep filing, but this is ridiculous.
 

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Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Take pliers, close clamp, put bolt thru :)

The Swain Tech stuff is VERY difficult to remove. We've used grinders to remove it on occasion. The other problem is the color is VERY near the metals color (the white is just the outermost layer) so you need to be careful you don't grind down the metal.
 

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Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

I'm not sure how well you'd be able to weld new V-bands on with the SwainTech present.
True that. I just thought if you cut out the v-bands it might be easier to grind off enough coating around the cut to be able to weld the new ones in.

Then again I might sometimes use a sledgehammer to crack a nut :p
 

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Discussion Starter #356
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Take pliers, close clamp, put bolt thru :)
Oh yeah, I definitely used some channel-lock pliers to squeeze the clamp as hard as I could, bolt won't go through.

The Swain Tech stuff is VERY difficult to remove. We've used grinders to remove it on occasion. The other problem is the color is VERY near the metals color (the white is just the outermost layer) so you need to be careful you don't grind down the metal.
I'm getting to know that the hard way. Unfortunately, the way the uppipe is designed and where the EWG is situated on the pipe, I couldn't take a grinder(nor do I have one) to it. Outermost layer yes. I've been filing, test-fitting, filing, test-fitting, etc. FWIW, this all fit(although pretty tight) BEFORE I sent it out for coating. IMO, the flange itself could stand to lose a small amount of metal to make this easier. I may attempt the Dremel once more, but I'd rather widen bolt holes on the clamp, since clamps can be had somewhat easily.
 

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Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Tial parts? We've never had them not go on with a bit of persuasion.

Got a flat edge? Run it across the V-Band Flange. If that flange is warped at all, that would certainly explain your frustration.
 

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Discussion Starter #358
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Yes, TiAL MV-S and the hardware it came with.

I'm pretty sure it's flat. Like I said, this all fit before I sent it out for coating.
 

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Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Here are some bits we just got back from Swain recently minus the turbine housing which is already on the turbo/car...

This is how they always come to us. If we have an issuesy I'll post.

 

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Discussion Starter #360
Re: Baron's '05 STi journal - **motor is pulled...now to mod...**

Looks nice. Have fun getting the coating off the flanges!

I was finally able to get enough off to get the clamp on. However, I filed off enough to make one side of the clamp loose when the other is keeping the EWG on. Even with that, the clamp won't close completely and the bolt has to be persuaded in. I'm not sure how the clamp can be ill-fitting, since it came from TiAL. It also fit decently well before coating.
 
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