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Old 06-22-2007, 09:20 PM   #1
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'02 95 Aero blown piston (please help)

Cracked #3 piston. Only held together by rings. Cracked from skirt on two sides, all the way up thru ring area. 2002 95 Aero automatic. 60,000 miles. Never overheated, perfectly maintained. No check engine light. Symptom was oil pushing thru oil cap (crankase pressure). Little compression on #3 piston. Rough idle. Car has ECU upgrade from Nordic Tuning/Taliaferro/Genuinesaab. 280 HP /310 Torque. HP fuel regulator, K&N, Remus/SAAB exhaust. No radical tuning. Any ideas what could have caused this? What course of action to repair? I can send detailed piston photos.

I have access to JE forged pistons. I assume that if I use stock pistons or others that the engine needs honing. Any idea what a short block costs? I want to keep the car, but if I sell it I want it to be perfect.

What would you do?


Help, Richard
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:26 PM   #2
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Honestly, at this point, I would probably do a B234 short block from the 9000's. Do you have the stock PCV system, or has it been updated? Were you running fully synth oil? How long between changes? Sounds like you are yet another victim of the infamous 9-5 oil sludge.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:28 PM   #3
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yeah sludge, or a lean condition caused some knock, the pistons in the T7 cars cant handle things like that. like aero said b234 from a 9k is probably the way to go, unless you can get the JE pistions for cheaper than you can get a 9k block, but then you are still stuck with the crappy PCV system and oil pump. there was just a thread about the pros and cons of the b235, should be able to locate it by searching.

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Old 06-22-2007, 09:36 PM   #4
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That really sucks maing. Drop the pan and take a look at all the sludge ( me thinks). PCV system = ??? Isn't it a huge pain to replace b235 with b234?
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:45 PM   #5
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Mobil 1 always. 5,000 mile interval max. No sludge, engine very clean. PCV not changed (original). Local mechanic thinks lean. Was blowing dark smoke near the end. Local dealer is sympathetic and may "sacrifice" a short block at cost. I think there was some knock. Fuel filter changed thre times in 60K, really dirty the last time. 91 Octane is all that is available in Tulsa. Anybody interested in the photos? Thanks, Richard
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:51 PM   #6
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Oh, we definitely want carnage photos.

Thats nice that the dealer is willing to work with you. If you took care of the engine like you say, then your indy and Paul are most likely correct. I'm assuming then that this was a 'mailbox' tune? Did you have any kind of A/F gauge? How long was the ECU in? I know if you tell Nick at GS you need a map for 91 they can do that, had you asked for this or were you running the normal maps? I'm not trying to point fingers in any direction, just curious as to some of the specifics.

Really sorry to hear about your troubles. I, like you, try to take the best care possible of my car but I think I will always be haunted by the possibility of it going boom.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:09 PM   #7
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yeah sludge, or a lean condition caused some knock, the pistons in the T7 cars cant handle things like that. like aero said b234 from a 9k is probably the way to go, unless you can get the JE pistions for cheaper than you can get a 9k block, but then you are still stuck with the crappy PCV system and oil pump. there was just a thread about the pros and cons of the b235, should be able to locate it by searching.

Paul
Man that sux!
I would think of a cracked piston as being lean first, then detonation, then cracked piston. I would think of seized bottom end or spun bearings as the cause of oil related issues. I live by my wide-band a/f kit.

No question the pistons are not strong like the b234 motors.

John
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:16 AM   #8
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Do you have something else to drive? I would say pop those JE pistons in it.

Last winter OliversExpedition, mechman, and Blaque_Out and I slowly rebuilt a 9000 b234. It seems to be doing well. So its not an entirely impossible project.
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Old 06-23-2007, 06:34 AM   #9
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Do you have something else to drive? I would say pop those JE pistons in it.

Last winter OliversExpedition, mechman, and Blaque_Out and I slowly rebuilt a 9000 b234. It seems to be doing well. So its not an entirely impossible project.
So far so good, its a daily driver for my son. If you can pull the pan, you should be able to check and see if you've spun a bearing. Might also check the intake and exhaust valves to see if one burned or bent.

Shortest course is to replace with an original or swap them all with JE pistons. If the bearings are good, have the heads checked, new head gasket, and the best thing is that you shouldn't have to redo things like water pump etc, since it had realtively low mileage.

Hope this helps,

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Old 06-24-2007, 01:35 PM   #10
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How should I send photos? I'm a little slow figuring out this site.
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:50 PM   #11
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Always interested in seeing photos! If you have a small image, the software allows you to attach an image (jpg, tif, bmp, etc.) otherwise if you have a site or use something like yahoo or cardomain, you can point to that image using the url.

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Old 06-24-2007, 02:18 PM   #12
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Go make an account on photobucket.com. Load your images there and then copy and past the bulletin board code that it provides for you into your posts.



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Old 06-24-2007, 03:59 PM   #13
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95 Aero cracked piston photos

http://s202.photobucket.com/albums/aa49/roscoeleroy/
See if this works.

Thanks, Richard
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:07 PM   #14
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the link works, but what you can do is copy the part that says IMG code, and your images will show up right here in the forum, like this:



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Old 06-24-2007, 04:13 PM   #15
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That piston looks incredible aside from the crack. You've got it all apart just do the JE forged pistons if the block and head are still good. Don't know what the cost will be versus putting the b234 block in but it'll be less down time if you just do the forged pistons.

Second giving Nick a call while the car is down and sending the ECU for a reflash with maps for 91 octane if thats the most you can get.



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Old 06-24-2007, 05:02 PM   #16
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Yeah, that does not look like a sludged up motor, and luckily it doesn't look like there was any skirt damage to the piston, and therefor probably little-to-no bore damage!

I would suggest probably keeping the motor in and dropping in some better pistons if time is an issue, especially if the motor was otherwise in good shape and had stong oil pressure.

In my opinion, this is a good reason why to dyno a car after software or hardware changes, or use a wideband O2 setup like JZW suggested.
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:05 PM   #17
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That piston does not look like it had any detonation. Just a fatigue crack maybe. Cheap @ss GM pistons...
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Old 06-24-2007, 06:24 PM   #18
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Yeah, that does not look like a sludged up motor, and luckily it doesn't look like there was any skirt damage to the piston, and therefor probably little-to-no bore damage!

I would suggest probably keeping the motor in and dropping in some better pistons if time is an issue, especially if the motor was otherwise in good shape and had stong oil pressure.

In my opinion, this is a good reason why to dyno a car after software or hardware changes, or use a wideband O2 setup like JZW suggested.
Great advise! Always dyno your car with a wide-band after you put in a new staged ecu. Its better to know and be safe than to not know and pop da motor. This can also bring to light other problems like a weak fuel pump or bad fuel injector.

I like to have a wide-band on the car because I had a brand new fuel pump go flakey after 2 weeks. Held good fuel pressure to 20psi of boost, it would go up to 65psi of fuel pressure, but after 20psi of boost the fuel pressure fell back the other way and was at 40psi by 25psi of boost. If I had not caught this it would have surely cracked my pistons too! Put in third new fuel pump and whalla, 70psi of fuel pressure at 28psi of boost and solid 11.5/1 a/f ratios.

Get a wide band or at least check these on a dyno.

John
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:54 PM   #19
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The Nordic tune was done at Nicks Springfield shop. Stage II as discussed earlier. He changed to copper plugs and later told me to ditch the K&N drop in and return to stock filter, which I have not done. Only guages in car are stock issue. I'll ask Nick to read all of this and see what he thinks. I am just paranoid of the thought that I may repair this and never repair the problem.

Thanks for the reply. Richard
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:56 PM   #20
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What a coincidence, our 01' aero is going threw a similar stage in its life. Although I havent had it apart yet to see what the piston looks like. I do however plan on putting a b234 short block in.
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