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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought the car for $500. Guy said it was making a lot of noise and running poorly. All assumptions led me to a timing belt/bent valves. I should have attempted to start it... failure on my part, but I didn't want to cause more damage.

Pulling the engine apart, I found oil in the inter-cooler, oil in the plug wells, crack on #4 DIC coil (which was full of oil). The timing was off, but not enough to bend valves, ~22 degrees pre-ignition on the crank sprocket only (knocking).

I replaced all timing components, water pump, alternator, plugs. Filled the car with Mobil1 0w-40. I did not replace the DIC, yet. I wanted to get the car started and check for good compression.

I started the car, started great. A lot of valve noise at first until oil pressure built up, or did it? Has a misfire, which is obvious. The valve noise was very loud at first and settled down a little bit, but is still very noticeable and clacking. I let the car run for 2 minutes. No oil leaks and it restarted with no issues. Yet the valve noise is very loud and shouldn't be there. Now I come to a few conclusions, but I need some Saab owner input. I did check cylinder compression and all cylinders are between 90-120, most being 110+ (no bent valves! :lol:)

When I had the intake apart, I reached into the Turbo to turn the impeller, no restrictions and little to no movement of the shaft. Now that I have the car started and the valves are very noisy, something tells me that the upper portion of the engine is starving for oil.

Here is my assumption, I could be wrong and I also haven't pulled an air intake tube off the inter-cooler to check for new oil after the 2 minutes of operating. Could the oil return from the turbo back to the engine be coked full of debris causing enough back pressure on the oil system to spew oil into the intake through the turbo and starve the rest of the engine of oil? This engine is also used in non-turbo applications so there has to be plumbing to the rest of the engine irregardless of the turbo by-pass.

Clacking valves on both side of the engine. Oil in the intake. Where should I look? Could a turbo failure cause total loss of oil pressure?
 

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Seems to me your turbocharger failure and clacking valves are two separate issues. Don't see how a very small oil delivery pipe to the turbo could rob oil from being delivered to the head. Did the car smoke like crazy on startup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Some smoke on start up, whitish gray, but went away quickly. I believe this was from my carb/choke cleaner to rid the #2,4,6 plug wells of oil before putting in the new plugs. Some blue smoke was coming from the exhaust around 2 minutes, but not a significant amount, could be residual.

THESAABSITE FAQ
The valve gear incorporates hydraulic lifters which keep the valve clearance within a limited working range from the camshaft bearing seat to the end of the valve stem. Each lifter has two storage chambers and one high pressure chamber. A return spring in the high pressure chamber acts on the sliding piston so that any clearance between the lifter and the cam is eliminated. At the same time, the high-pressure chamber expands and makes up the oil volume to compensate for leakage losses through the passage between the piston and the cylinder which occur at actuating pressure. Under some conditions, the hydraulic lifters may have a chattering noise. In most cases, this noise will be short lived. This may occur after the car has been parked for longer than 48 hours. When the car is parked for a long period of time, oil drains out of the high-pressure chambers and allows air to get in. When the car is started, it will take about 15 minutes for the air to get pushed out of the lifters and the valve chatter to go away. Engine speed should be kept under 3,000 RPM until the noise goes away.
I'll be running it when I get home.
 

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[...]Here is my assumption, I could be wrong and I also haven't pulled an air intake tube off the inter-cooler to check for new oil after the 2 minutes of operating. Could the oil return from the turbo back to the engine be coked full of debris causing enough back pressure on the oil system to spew oil into the intake through the turbo and starve the rest of the engine of oil? This engine is also used in non-turbo applications so there has to be plumbing to the rest of the engine irregardless of the turbo by-pass.

Clacking valves on both side of the engine. Oil in the intake. Where should I look? Could a turbo failure cause total loss of oil pressure?
Pulling the Turbo return tube is a simple enough task, but I don't think your problem lies there. My assumption is that any blockage that substantial would cause back-pressure and obvious leaking. I think part of your problem may be to due to your use of 0W40. Try something a little thicker.
 

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The valve clatter is normal. It should go away after you drive it. When a tappet has been sitting in a head, compressed, all of the oil is pushed out and wont quiet down for several minutes, usually after being driven.

If there isn't a steady stream of smoke from the exhaust, and your turbo shaft doesn't have much play and spins freely, then your turbo doesn't seem to be faulty. Some cars do have oil in their intercooler/throttle body. Both of my 3.0's do not, but my previous Saab 9000 always did.

I wouldn't personally drive my car if it had a bad DIC, all of that unburnt fuel going into the CatConv. can't be good. And if the car is idling, that unburnt fuel can slip past the piston rings, get into the crank housing and thin the oil out, which can cause bearing damage. Oil in the spark plug wells is a sign your valve cover is leaking. ...Or that's the oil from the DIC's coil.

Good luck!
 

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Nathan 9⁵;1735821 said:
The valve clatter is normal. It should go away after you drive it. When a tappet has been sitting in a head, compressed, all of the oil is pushed out and wont quiet down for several minutes, usually after being driven.

If there isn't a steady stream of smoke from the exhaust, and your turbo shaft doesn't have much play and spins freely, then your turbo doesn't seem to be faulty. Some cars do have oil in their intercooler/throttle body. Both of my 3.0's do not, but my previous Saab 9000 always did.

I wouldn't personally drive my car if it had a bad DIC, all of that unburnt fuel going into the CatConv. can't be good. And if the car is idling, that unburnt fuel can slip past the piston rings, get into the crank housing and thin the oil out, which can cause bearing damage. Oil in the spark plug wells is a sign your valve cover is leaking. ...Or that's the oil from the DIC's coil.

Good luck!
What he said. ^^^

The first Saab I ever bought was a 2001 9-5 V6 with 160k miles on it. It had been sitting outside in Maine from October to March when I bought it in 2006. I was very concerned because the engine was LOUD as hell. TICK TICK TICK TICK!!! It sounded like a diesel. It didn't really clear up until I drove it for a week or so. Even then, the V6 running 100% healthily is still a very clackity engine. I took a video of it when it was real bad. I sold it in December, 2008 with 184k miles on it and it's still going. So replace the DI cassette(s), drive it nice and easy for a couple weeks, and then have fun with it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy5BntY6ezY
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very reassuring, thanks everyone. I went over to Road Tested Saabs this afternoon, I asked Steve Bush if he had a spare V6 DIC sitting around. He did, unfortunately it had the same crack up the middle coil as mine.

I'll still fire it up and let it run for a while. I need to bleed the water system, etc. and make sure I'm ready to roll when the DIC shows up.

I'll watch the vid when I get home. I also referred to mine as the diesel with a need of a valve adjustment.
 

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Wow RL2, that's one ticky 3.0t you had! In the vid of the aux airpump the engine sounds better, but it's still pretty ticky.

Here's a clip of both of mine. The '03 was warm, and the '01 hasn't been started in 2 or 3 days so you can hear its little SAI pump going. I didn't think to turn the AC off on either car. :roll:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrQ8Uhl1xLI
 

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Nathan 9⁵;1736113 said:
Wow RL2, that's one ticky 3.0t you had! In the vid of the aux airpump the engine sounds better, but it's still pretty ticky.

Here's a clip of both of mine. The '03 was warm, and the '01 hasn't been started in 2 or 3 days so you can hear its little SAI pump going. I didn't think to turn the AC off on either car. :roll:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrQ8Uhl1xLI
Yeah, it was like 27 degrees when I took the SAI pump video and it was always pretty noisy on a cold start. Once it warmed up though it sounded just like both of your V6's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow Nathan, very clean and very nice!

I have an update, not a good one by any means. Most of the lifter noise went away, in about 22/24 of the lifters. Once that quieted down I heard it... the rod knock. I finally found the noise that the previous owner heard. There was quite a bit of exhaust coming out of the tailpipe last night, not to mention the junction of the down pipe to the turbo was smoking quite a bit. This tells me the engine is burning oil in the turbo. Whether it's in the intake or exhaust, it doesn't really matter. The previous owner probably never took notice of the oil consumption through the turbo and allowed the engine to loose oil pressure at one point. This in turn starved the crank of oil and spun a bearing. I knew this engine was going to be trouble when I couldn't get the crank cog off to replace the front seal. There was a fresh puddle of 0w-40 on the floor as well. It's coming from the rear of the engine. Whether its a bad seal on the pan or the rear seal, I'm not sure. Pulling the pan at this point would be pointless. This beast is in need of a used engine if not become an organ donor. I am a DIY mechanic, but I have to draw a line at engine swaps. My house and garage are just not big enough for that.
 

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Oh well at least your initial investment was minimal. Still you did alot of work on the car; perhaps the knock is something you could live with for a few hundred miles...at least until the car dies of natural causes. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Engine honey should do the trick... That will get me an additional 20 miles.
 

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That's not good news. Is the knock severe? I had a VW VR6 engine with some pretty loud rod knock, I drove it as is for at least 50K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'll take a video of it tonight. It's pretty quiet at idle other than the dead lifters. Its around 1500-3000 rpm that it knocks. I made a post about parting it out if there is enough interest. I've heard knocks before and this one is pretty bad. It starts like a champ though! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
SID Display & Climate Control
Video1

Ticking lifter & Rod knock from inside the car!
Video2

Who put the Gremlin in my Saab?
Video3

I'm considering buying some cheap 20w-50 and filling it up to see if I can resolve the lifter and see what it does for the knock. Thoughts?
 

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Ok, so it sounds pretty bad... sorry...

But I could have sworn it is only running on 3 cylinders. It revs definitely too slow. I had a DIC die on me last spring, and when it didn't work it revved similarly and sounded pretty bad too. I know you said that one of yours is dead as well. Were these vids taken with some replacement/borrowed DIC? Or with the same one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Were these vids taken with some replacement/borrowed DIC? Or with the same one?
Same one, the front DIC is cracked along the #4 housing. I can feel the hesitation and it is slow to rev, but I was trying to hold the revs around 2k, that's where the knock starts. The knock also sounds like its coming from the back side of the engine. It's hard to be certain though.

Think 20/50 will help? :roll:
 
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