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Aluminum in the oil

Well, I got some small aluminum pieces that came out when I last changed the oil.

The engine had a recent head rebuild by PO so I'm thinking the aluminum might be related to cam gear installation issue, maybe they got one of the sprockets backwards. Or possibly a worn IS gear. The engine seems too noisy from that area, but again, it could be chain noise I'm hearing. Anyway, I'm not upset, I see it as part of the journey. What else can I do, right?

I haven't removed the engine from the car, so for now I would like for this thread to be about getting your opinion/ advise on getting a scope of what all I need to do get rid of metal contaminants. When I pull the engine out, I'll start a separate thread on teardown and rebuild.

So getting rid of metal contaminants in the oil system. I am thinking of:
1. replacing all the oil lines, -12 to cooler and -16 back (related to another recent thread)
2. getting coolers cleaned and tested
3. engine teardown/ inspection/ repair including pulling oil gallery/ passage plugs including oil mods to the crank and case
4. possible new upgraded oil pump


So questions..
1. Is this scope sufficient or am I missing anything?

2. Any special tools to clean out side mounted thermostat?

3. What's a good place for sourcing new oil lines? Should I upgrade to -12 to cooler and -16 back? Any input on the conversion to the bigger lines?

4. Any recommendations on a place to get coolers cleaned and tested?

5. I am considering doing the engine mounted secondary filter in place of the cooler. What are some options in terms of replacing the lost cooling capacity?

6. If I increase my oil lines to -12 and -16, can I still run my stock pump or do I need to upgrade to a 964 or 930 oil pump?

The car is an 89 carrera. 105,000 miles. Oil pressure is still good, so I might stay with the stock pump, but if I have to buy one, I will probably only consider new, which probably means a 964, right? Mostly street driven, hopefully some light track/ DE days in the near future.

Thanks in advance for any advise.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:03 PM
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I just am guessing..If junk fell in the sump..It might be OK as it will never go past the pump screen...
What concerns me is the where and whys that t came from....and there are a million...I see no reason for chunks to be there from cam timing..
Maybe a redrilled hole some where?
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:50 AM
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No, not a timing issue. I mean they possibly installed both cam sprockets with the flat part facing out, thereby causing mis-alignment which would cause the chain to rub on the case or chain housing. I don't really know for sure this is a valid scenario, but I had heard from an engine builder that this has been one of the more common mistakes from Motormeister.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:27 AM
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A backward cam sprocket wouldn't shed aluminum. The chain wheels and chains are all steel. When I did a top end on my '87 in 2006, I discovered I had a backwards sprocket on my '87 for who knows how long. I didn't find any signficant damage. Just a little side wear on the sprocket. So I just reinstalled it properly w/the required parallelism. That said, I didn't open the case to see what the sprockets on the I-shaft looked like.

edit..... but given the right amount of offset, I agree the chain can contact the case or housing. At least start by popping open the chain covers and see what you find in there. That's indeed the easiest source of aluminum.

But when the chain is overly-loaded, it'll eat sprockets. I recently had an idler wheel freeze on my '79 engine. Turns out the idlers are the old narrow, non-bushed units and the idler bores were severely galled on the chain box shafts. So I had cgarr put in new chain box shafts, got some good used updated idler arms from dtw, replaced the chains with new 993 chains from Pelican for racing, got one good used cam sprocket from Andrew15 and both I-shaft sprockets are "new" from a donor shaft given to me by cstreit.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:21 AM
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I wouldn't replace the factory lines with -12. The factory lines are VERY good lines. As long as they still function well with good nuts/fittings, I say reuse all of them. The majority of the lines are solid metal, so you can flush them very good with carb cleaner and shoot some packing through them with compressed air to swab out any contaminants.

Not a bad idea to have your coolers flushed and pressure tested. Good piece of mind. Pacific Oil Cooler is everybody's choice. But honestly a reputable radiator/ air conditioning repair shop should be able to flush and pressure test them.

No special tools needed for the t-stat. You can clean it up and then put it in boiling water to open it up and flush it out. If you want to rebuild, not a bad idea since they seem to stick open or closed as they get older, you'll need to fab a tool to remove the monster threaded caps.

Measuring and checking a good 3.2 case is fairly easy. The hardest part about case work IMO is the cleaning. Its a lot of work to get it nice & clean DIY. Do some of the heavy cleaning yourself- powerwash if necessary before you disassemble anything. Then decide if you want to clean everything yourself or have a machine shop do it. Cleaning a case that's not only filthy dirty, but also been given a good dose of sealant, can be a real pain. I just did one...... Make sure to get a 574 solvent that works good! I like Loctite Chisel remover.

What mods do you plan to do to the crank? The only mods a crank really benefits from is cross-drilling (not absolutely necessary for your intended use) and knife edging to lighten it. Neither of which are a must for a street engine. Definitely check all the mains and rod journals for dimensional correctness. If you have it polished, you have to pull the plugs and flush it properly.

The case doesn't need any modifying. The 3.2 case is a great case. No oiling mods needed, no reason to shuffle pin it (use 574 on the mains when reassembling), no reason to boattail the mains. If you do boattail it, just do it by hand and take the edges off. No reason to get crazy.

The only case mod i'd recommend is one Mike Bruns mentioned. Make sure your thru-bolt holes are all nicely chamfered/countersunk. This helps the o-rings sit in there nicely and not get squished by the through bolt washers when they are compressed against the oring upon tightening.

Flush the piston squirters with compressed air and carb cleaner. No reason to upgrade them to 930 squirters.

Remove the cam tower spray bars and make sure no crap is in there.

Your 3.2 pump is a good pump. Just take it apart (mark relative position of gerotors so you can reassemble EXACTLY as it came apart) and inspect. You will likely be pleasantly surprised that the pump surfaces and case body are in excellent shape. Here's what my SC pump looked like after years of abuse in sprint race duty.

SC Oil Pump

But the 993/964 is a very good one and a nice alternative to the spendy 930 or GT3 pumps. I put one in my '79 engine build and it dropped right in there. I was expecting to have to modify the case webs in a few locations. Nope. Dropped right in there and it doesn't look like my case was previously clearanced for a larger pump.

I recently did the filter install on the engine, but haven't "tested" it yet- still putting the engine together. The engine mounted cooler is pretty efficient, but it does most of its work at lower speeds. A lot of the cooling air from the fan is "stolen" by the heads at higher speeds. Think of it another way...... the 3.6 is a bigger engine (more heat) and has no internal t-stat, nor does it have an engine mounted cooler and it has a less efficient cooling fan. However the aux. oil cooler for the 3.6 is a very good one.

Eagledriver runs his 3.2 race car without an engine cooler because it was leaking. He blocked it with some aluminum inserts and had no problems with engine temps. The key is to make sure your front cooler is made most effective.

To do the filter install, you need to think about how you are going to reconnect the tank to the engine oil-in port. You have to either:

1. Install a male fitting on the case to accept a female hose connection. JB Racing or Patrick Motorsports has a nice AN-16 fitting. It makes for a very nice clean connection. Caveat is, you then need to have an adapter welded to your oil-out location on the oil tank S-hose location.

2. Sacrifice an oil cooler for its bottom tube. That's what I did in the interim until I get around to installing my Peterson oil tank. I cut the tube off of a cooler kindly donated by Eagledriver. Then I "machined" the fitting on the end of the tube that attaches to the case. I used my angle grinder to cut away the excess material and also adjust the thickness of the mounting flange on the tube fitting and the oil filter housing. I'll post some pictures of it when I get home.

You also have to replace the engine t-stat to make the filter fully functional at all times. Otherwise, the filter will only function when the t-stat opens. You can install the blank from a 964, or you can use the cool RSR piece like JB Racing makes. The downside to ditching the t-stat is that you need to be wary of cold oil temps. Too many rpms at cold oil temps can burst a regular Mahle filter.

I chose to go with a Canton 25-184 full flow filter. But i'll still make sure to avoid high oil pressures until my oil temp comes up to a reasonable 180. My filter install is on a race car engine, so I can warm it up as long as I want to.

Honestly for a street driven/occasional DE engine, I wouldn't get crazy. The 3.2 engine basic foundation is a very good one. It doesn't need a lot of modifying. A local friend has 160K on his '87 Carrera and drives the snot out of it at our track events. Thing just keeps on going strong w/no problems. Doesn't consume oil, makes good power. Motor is all stock aside from some simple bolt ons.

I think your money is better spent making sure things like rods, P&C's, cams and rocker arms are all in good shape. With only 100K, they should be OK. But check nonetheless
  • Check your cylinders for wear, piston diameters, ring lands and ring gaps
  • Check your rods for big end bore and C-C length
  • Definitely replace the rod bolts since they're garbage anyway upon removal. ARP bolts give you good piece of mind.
  • Go thru your heads and make sure your guides and valves are all good.
  • Check all your rockers for excessive bushing wear and have them rebushed if necessary
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:58 AM
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Wow Kevin, Thanks a lot for the very lengthy and thorough response!!

It's easy to get caught up in while-you're in there upgrades, I guess. I think I'll follow your advise and stick to the stock lines, I'll just have them flushed. They're not leaking so they should be good.

Since my oil pump is still putting out good pressure, I don't think I have a strong reason to upgarde, but I am planning on doing the oil mods to the crank and case, at #3 and #5, so was also thinking a little bit more oil would be good. I'll cogitate on that.

If I go with the engine case mounted filter, do you think I need to install a 993 oil cooler upfront or do you think my current one can handle the job? The car is a daily driver, but I don't spend a lot of time, if any, in stop and go traffic.

Again, thanks for taking the time to put all that into words. Much appreciated!!
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:08 AM
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Ask a lot of questions, get a lot of answers from a wordy person like me!

I think you'd be fine with the Carrera cooler up front. But you have to make sure to get good air to it. The notch in the bumper, and even the headlight removal just isn't enough.

My '87 would run a bit above the 9 o'clock mark and start to approach the dreaded 248 mark when my t-stat to the front oil cooler wasn't working.




So if you have a well-vented oil cooler doing its job up front, you should be fine w/out the engine cooler. Otherwise, i'd consider a front bumper that incorporates a larger cooler.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:12 PM
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OK, thanks again Kevin.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:08 PM
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If you go to a good hydraulic shop they have foam plugs of different sizes that you can blow through your oil lines, usually they give them away if you are a customer. They use them for cleaning lines very similar to what we have in our cars. My engine had a plug come out of one of the crank drilled passages and lost a rod bearing, there were bits copper and backing metal all over the case interior. I did not find any metal elsewhere but spent a long time cleaning everything. I blew the foam plugs through the oil lines to the front cooler with air, put clean oil in and clean plugs and repeated a couple of times.

W
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:43 PM
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OK Wade, sort of like a "pig". People use pigs to clean out industrial pipe-lines, so yeah, I get it. Great suggestion. Thanks!!
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:39 PM
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Exactly like a pig.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:09 AM
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Forgot to follow up with pictures of the modified lower oil tube and adjustment I made to the lower mount tab on the 993 filter console.

Basically I chopped the bottom tube off of the stock oil cooler, cut away the excess material around the inlet to the case and thinned the mounting surfaces of the right side of the inlet and the bottom tab of the filter console plate. I also had to install some longer M8 studs on the top two locations for the filter mounting plate.

Thanks for Bob Turgeon (bobt993) for the sale of the 993 filter housing and Andy Simpkinson (Eagledriver) for the donation of a leaky oil cooler to a fellow racer.







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'87 Carrera- gone 7/25/14 but never forgotten

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Old 04-25-2012, 10:18 AM
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Thanks again Kevin. I wonder if this can be added as one of the Pelican technical DIY/ upgrades?

So why did you go with the added filter, more protection? Do you inspect your filters after each race event?
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:42 PM
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Well it's not complete yet. I still have to get the top end on the engine so I can modify the fiberglass shroud and the engine tin to account for the loss of the oil cooler.

I went with the filter because I like the added protection and it removes a potential leak source- the oil cooler. The engine cooler doesn't provide a substantial amount of cooling benefit for a track engine (look, the 964, 965, and 993 3.6 engines have NO cooler and do fine on the track) and I like messing with things.

That said, I made sure to use a sturdy filter. The on-engine paper can filters have known to burst at cold temps. So I chose to go with a billet Canton 25-184 full flow filter that is 3.5 in. long. I went with the small Canton to ensure my filter clears the headers by a significant amount. I don't want the headers being too close to the filter, or else i'd be inclined to heat wrap the filter or headers.

Now that i've freshly rebuilt the engine, I do plan to inspect the filters on a regular basis to track its health.

Ultimately I don't plan to keep the makeshift oil inlet tube. I'll replace that tube with an AN-16 inlet fitting like this



and run a AN-16 line to a Peterson tank I have sitting on the shelf for whenever I get around to doing that oil tank swap. One thing leads to another and whenever I do that oil tank relocate, I also must install another filter somewhere. Because when I remove the factory oil tank, I lose the Porsche tank's filter on the scavenge side of the system.

Well my plan there is to plumb-in a 964 filter housing that will be connected directly to the scavenge line coming out of the engine case. The nice thing about the 964 filter housing is it accepts the same Mahle OC54 filter that everybody uses with the factory '79 tank. However I replaced the Mahle with a Canton 25-412 full flow filter. So I can reuse my existing filter and it actually will remain in the same location as the current filter. Filter housing is part #47 and I already have one of those sitting on the shelf too!



I also plan to incorporate the 964 external thermostat into my system. It's got cleaner connections/fitting orientations and is easier to rebuild than the typical 911 thermostat.

Which reminds me, here's a picture of the engine t-stat replacement fitting that you use when the internal t-stat is removed in order to get the 993 filter housing to receive oil at all times, regardless of engine temperature



Engine oil inlet fitting and RSR t-stat replacement piece are courtesy of Mike Bruns & Co. at JB Racing.

Fun stuff, eh?
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:25 PM
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Very cool. I'll be looking forward to the finished project.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:57 PM
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I would not remove the engine oil cooler for a street driven 3.2 with the stock cooler in front. You need the engine oil cooler for the times you are sitting in traffic. Our '84 sometimes saw more heat on the gauge than I would have liked under those conditions. Granted, the later front coolers were a bit better, and have a fan. But not that good.

And there is no reason I can think of to substitute an oil filter for the engine oil cooler on a street car of this vintage. So you are giving up something useful for no real benefit.

Generally, you want all the oil cooling you can get, so why delete some of it?

Now, if you have a center mounted cooler up in an aftermarket fron valance, maybe that will do the trick. The 964 coolers are an order of magnitude more effective than anything Porsche put on before, and that plus the air which flows through them has to be why Porsche deternined that the engine cooler was not needed any more.

Race motors don't spend a lot of time at idle or low speed. If the field is black or red flagged, you can just turn the engine off. And the high speeds of track use means you have good air flow through your carefully mounted cooler almost all the time.

My SC is still a dual purpose car despite its full cage. I have a Mazda cooler front and center, decided to plumb it in before the Lemke front cooler I had up there although I know keeping the fender mounted cooler is not necessary with a front/center cooler, and would never consider replacing the engine oil cooler.

My race motor is different - two 964 coolers up front, air ducted through and up out a cutout in the hood, 5 gallons of oil, it doesn't need an engine oil cooler. I cut up a leaking stock cooler to use as a base for welding on a pump inlet fitting and fittings for hoses to go to an oil filter.

I am reconsidering whether I need that extra filter, though. I could save some weight and a few more steps in the engine R&R process that way. Though the angled filter housing is something I'd like to have fall into my hands, so I could use my System 1 filter there. The one in Kevin's picture, but angled instead of straight down.
Old 04-27-2012, 11:53 AM
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Walt makes a good point that the on-engine cooler provides a considerable benefit for a street car. It's been said by Bruce Anderson in his 911 performance book that a cooler on the supply side functions very well. Some have removed the factory oil cooler (and the forward mounted aux. cooler) and replaced with a remote cooler plumbed from this location. He said he was shocked how well the cooler performed when connected at this location. I suspect it has something to do with the oil being less aerated. Is it because the factory forward mounted coolers are seeing aerated oil on the return/scavenge circuit?

I'd be curious to know what makes the 964, 993 coolers so much better that they can outperform an engine mounted cooler in a good location (on the supply circuit) along with the forward mounted Carrera cooler. I suspect it has more to do with air supply than it does the cooler design?

On a 3.2 for instance, the engine mounted cooler only sees engine fan air and alot of that is stolen by the volume of air lost to cooling the cylinders. Nothing wrong with that since the cylinders are of primary concern. However, IMO the on-engine oil cooler is actually competing with cooling cylinder #6.

Again in 3.2 territory, the auxiliary cooler in the right front fender is not being fed with air all that well. The notch in the front bumper is a far cry from getting a high volume of air flowing across the cooler. Not to mention the spillage that occurs underneath the cooler, as well as the blockage that occurs on '85-'89 cars that have the cooling fan mounted on the upstream airflow side of the cooler.

I suspect the designers of the 964 and 993 put a lot of effort into ensuring the front cooler is fed with air much better than the older cars? Because I just can't see how a much more powerful engine like the 3.3L, 3.6L 965 turbo or the 3.6L N/A engine can get along OK with a less efficient (albeit quieter) engine cooling fan, an engine underbody tray, no engine-mounted cooler and a well-hidden front oil cooler!
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'87 Carrera- gone 7/25/14 but never forgotten
Old 05-01-2012, 01:49 PM
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My wish in installing an oil filter in place of the cooler is to remove any remaining debris that might get left behind. Am I missing something from the oil circuit diagram in BA's book, 2nd ed, pg 57? It seems to indicate that the oil will be filtered before it gets to any of the bearings, if I install a filter in place of the oil cooler. I'd have to remove the thermostat too, I think.

What do you guys think? Is this not a reasonable plan?

My commute to work is mostly back roads 45-60 mph. So I believe I can still run the car a few months (miles) with the case mounted filter in place, do open inspection on the filters until I get three data points that say there is no more debris, then remove the filter housing and go back to the cooler. Anyway, this is what I was thinking and maybe not correct?
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:10 PM
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IMHO you are overreacting to the AL in the oil. You don't eliminate the stock oil cooling in a street car which you are driving back and forth to work at 45 mph. You identify the source of the metal. repair it. get your cooler flushed and call it a day. Now if you are doing this because you are on the slope... well thats another matter. but on many levels this project doesn't really make alot of sense...
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:21 PM
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Hey Brad,

Yeah, I intend to fully dis-assemble the engine down to splitting the case, find the culprit of the shavings and repair everything back to spec, and I will also get my oil coolers cleaned and tested, as well as clean/flush the oil lines, tank and thermostat. But after spending all that time and money (what $12-$14k), I was going to go the one step further and run a second filter on the case to capture any debris that might have been missed.

The comment about commuting the back roads is to say that although I do daily drive the car, it is not inner city type stop-and-go traffic. So even though I will loose a good bit of cooling, I don't sit in traffic long enough for that to be a problem.
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