Project Rescue

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby Holden202T » Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:26 pm

vlad01 wrote:Blown gasket, unlikely but what is likely is cracked heads, very common problem on ecotecs.

I almost bought a VS BT1 years ago but I worked out it had cracked heads and broken lifter guide/s

im putting my money here too, especially with the KMS!

for your sake i hope that is not the case though.

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby immortality » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:29 pm

VX L67 Getrag wrote:Yeah I just bought a cheap commy/ecotec from auctions & got 10min into drive home & temp gauge went over halfway QUICK!!!
Pulled over & had a stuck thermostat, probably why people got rid of it.... anyway 10second fix & all was good till I noticed it going through coolant weekly & obviously previous owners kept driving it till supper hot probably numerous times & bent/warped/lifted stuff... so with guts out of thermostat & a bottle of Rislone head gasket fix all seems to be o.k. a couple of years later!


It's interesting you mention 10 minutes, that's what the lady said about the VT. So maybe I'll rip out the thermostat on the spot to get it home.

Holden202T wrote:
vlad01 wrote:Blown gasket, unlikely but what is likely is cracked heads, very common problem on ecotecs.

I almost bought a VS BT1 years ago but I worked out it had cracked heads and broken lifter guide/s

im putting my money here too, especially with the KMS!

for your sake i hope that is not the case though.


Definitely possible but it's not the end of the world, I'm sure I can find another ecotec if need be. Also, things don't tend to get so hot here in NZ so I haven't seen the cracked head issue as much.

This is my first turbo build so maybe this engine is sacrificial anyway?

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby jxx » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:44 pm

Good ecotecs are starting to get hard to find in some parts of AUS these days, and if you do find them they're getting up in price now....

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby vlad01 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:27 pm

Long gone are the days of 50-100K wrecker engines. Sellers say 250k is low ks now days haha.
I'm the director of VSH (Vlad's Spec Holden), because HSV were doing it ass about.

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby immortality » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:40 pm

There was a nice 2001 VX with 105,000km on TM last week but I was away on holiday and it sold before I got home, it was my first option but this one is just going to be cheap fun with parts I have laying about.

I also have M75 3.45 gears and good LSD, a 2800rpm high stall converter (n/a) and one of VL400 LS coil driver boxes with the cool 2 step function and a few spares should I blow something up along the way. I should also have a surge tank and high volume pump somewhere so the fuel system is semi-sorted already.

If I'm feeling real kind I might even pull out the pistons and file open the ring gaps a little just to give this thing half a chance to live with some decent boost.

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby Holden202T » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:54 pm

yeah definitely a good engine to start testing on and if you do hurt it its not the end of the world!

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby immortality » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:59 pm

Well I got it home... Good she's rough, a true Sth Auckland car....

As I expected, stuff radiator cap that doesn't hold pressure. Thermostat was stuck partially open but not enough to stand a chance of keeping it cool so it came out. Topped it up and started her up..... bubble bubble bubble. Yup, probably a head gasket or worse?
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-31 at 13.29.18.jpeg


Bleed it as best we could and headed home (it was pissing down with rain). Decided to stay off the motorway and avoid the tunnel as that would be the worst place to break down at get the attention of the boys in blue.

She stayed mostly cool but lack of airflow in traffic and she eventually started to climb and not stop. Factory bloody tune not turning on the thermofan till 105°C. Topped her up and headed off again. Once past the tunnel we jumped on the motorway and temps came down and stayed steady until we hit the end of the tail on the Sth Western motorway, got off and went the rest of the way on the back streets. We stopped and topped her off one more time but it never overheated again.

Bought it off a reasonably young girl with a 3month old baby. Apparently it was her uncles car and didn't know much about it.

Trans was a bitt clunky but then the lack of trans fluid will do that. Power steering about as low as it can go without not working, oil.... yes. Brake fluid? it stops.

So she got her first bath when I got home, firgured I may as well hit it as it's still hot!
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-31 at 15.09.52.jpeg

It's surprisingly clean under here
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-31 at 15.12.49.jpeg


Plan is to pull the heads off and access damage. Hopefully a set of gaskets will do the job.
Oil chance
Service trans
Flush the brake system
Figure out the LPG shit and how to get it to run/switch over to petrol.

It's has a definite miss when cold, once hot it cleared but as it cooled off it came back. Also worse at idle. Going to assume this is LPG/ignition related. It has fairly new leads on it. Can see the previous owners have changed dfi modules and coil packs (still in the boot).

Other than that it drove OK. Not the best tires (got it fully locked up with no ABS on wet roads) and the suspension is like a couch...! It smoked a little on first start but my son said it cleared soon after we took off.

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby vlad01 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:59 pm

Worth pulling the water pump off and checking if it still has an impeller. I have seen them completely rusted away and no ability to pump water.
I'm the director of VSH (Vlad's Spec Holden), because HSV were doing it ass about.

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby immortality » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:29 pm

It's actually had a new water pump fitted at some stage.

It also appears to have a new battery so that is a win.

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Re: Project Rescue

Postby immortality » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:44 pm

Surgery has begun.

Good signs, found this first off. Don't think it would have run well on petrol.
WhatsApp Image 2021-04-08 at 15.34.11.jpeg

Got a back saver device to make this process easier,
WhatsApp Image 2021-04-08 at 15.42.20.jpeg

About 2.5 hours later we ended up here,
WhatsApp Image 2021-04-08 at 17.39.30.jpeg

Interestingly it's fairly clean inside, no major gunk buildup anywhere. Either this was well serviced for a good portion of it's life or it's been thoroughly steam cleaned of late. Push rods are clean, just high mileage wear on the end I've seen before, no oil staining, just a little rust from moisture at the rocker ends.
WhatsApp Image 2021-04-08 at 17.44.15.jpeg

Made a start on getting the exhaust manifolds off but it started to get dark and the mozzies were eating me alive to decided to call it a day.

Only one small woopsie, forgot to disconnect the ECT sensor and smashed it. Woops.

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