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Discussion Starter #1
All,

Just looking for some help or direction. Post is kinda long, I wanted to try and not leave anything out.

In Short I have a suspected rear thrust bearing failure at only 1k miles in on a brand new engine, I had no issues with the same trans/TC on stock boosted motors, the only difference here is:

new motor - 4.6 2v. built for 600hp
new flex plate (americanmuscle_com/sr-flexplate-6bolt.html)
Rebuilt TC new for new engine(but worked fine for 4 years prior in 2 different stock motors). Im still going to send it back to them for inspection.

I know we are all guessing for the most part, but maybe also basing the guessing off of previous experiences or knowledge.

Thanks in advance to anyone that reads this and/or responds ha.


Long Story

Im being told its my torque converter(custom edge racing 3200 high stall) or trans (4r70W rebuilt level4 from Darrin at BCA a god father of these transmissions). Ive ran this transmission and torque converter in 2 stock engines for over 5 years, never heard of a thrust bearing in my life or had any similar failure. I had the torque converter rebuilt new for the new engine/build.

The one engine took 150k miles of hard beating from me personally (250k total on the engine total), running hot, over heating, rich/lean tunes. Ran 2.5 years of that boosted. I eventually blew a rod or lifer. I always had mild emailed tunes from one of the best tuners for these cars. I got a used engine (supposedly with 30k Miles). I then went and got an actual dyno tune (a bit more aggressive then my emailed tunes). That engine lasted almost a year of beating on it and over heating.. but I blew the head gasket (and after tear down, I had a cracked lifer bore).

I wanted to do everything right this time, so I paid a proper race engine builder shop to build out the short block for 600HP, upgrade some things in the heads, cometic head gaskets. ARP everywhere possible etc.. any time there was a question or concern I upgraded/bought it. I had it installed from the same shop, to avoid any issue there.

After 200 miles, I got the first oil change (new filter too). I then put another 800~ miles going back and forth to the engine builders and other shops, resolving exhaust leaks (after market CATs didn't mesh well with the OEM studs on the exhaust manifolds). The car was also always running hotish on freeway runs when it never did this before. Eventually get everything going, dyno tune scheduled and.........

I hear what I think is another exhaust leak, but it ends up being a tapping from the flex plate on the metal gasket in-between the trans and engine. The engine builders are telling me to take it to a trans shop, so I take it there, they confirm it is coming from the flex plate but is too busy to put it on the lift and says he wouldn't worry too much about it, but to see if I can get it looked at by another shop.

The car is also starting to crank slow, I checked a random spark plug, and it looked fine. I think maybe the starter is slow and hitting the flex plate or sliding out, so I had the starter replaced.. sound was still there. we slightly bent the metal gasket between the engine/trans and the noise went away. I was relieved and thought the problem was solved...

20 minute test drive, all good, 20 minute ride back and things start to go bad, Im losing power, loud tapping/knocking and for the first time ever the car registers misfires in cylinder 4 and 8 (just 116 misfires and it wasn't growing) but still there. The car also was running coolant temp HOT (even though it was a 60 degree night, with highway speeds).

I instantly pulled over, turned the car off, towed it home, then back to the engine builders. Its been sitting there waiting for them to take apart. They did say the oil was very dark/black. Which Im not sure how the trans/TC would cause that at all.

Ive reached out to multiple engine/trans experts who all don't believe it was the trans( the trans has its own internal thrust washer and the pump is mounted to the trans cast internally), highly doubtful its the TC balloning (from its size and anti-ballon plate and 4 years of no issues). Engine builders are sure its trans/TC. What should I be looking for? oil starvation maybe? what else would be damaged internally that definitely would of not been from a Torque Converter? Im thinking what ever caused the thrust bearing failure is the same reason the car was running hot on freeway runs (even on cold nights with no aggressive driving at all).
 

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I hate seeing stories like this because somebody messed up and usually doesn't cop to it..

If you paid a Race Shop to put it all together and instal everything, then they are responsible no matter what happened. That's why you paid them..

No way oil should be black on a new engine..
 

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Search here:

It seems that I've read about thrust bearing issues at the above site and there is a solution for it and it's an oiling issue.

ks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ive read so must about thrust bearing failures, the modification some people make/suggest with certain bearings. Im not sure what brand bearing or setup was used for mine. or if any modification was made. Im working on getting that info and some pictures of the tear down.

Your making 902HP... have you had any thrust bearing issues? What bearings do you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hate seeing stories like this because somebody messed up and usually doesn't cop to it..

If you paid a Race Shop to put it all together and instal everything, then they are responsible no matter what happened. That's why you paid them..

No way oil should be black on a new engine..
I cant seem to find much on black oil in a new engine. Are you able to expand a little here? on what would of caused that? would it just be metal debris? I was told that it didnt look like the oil was burnt just dark.
 

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Nothing against the Gents on this site but you will find far more detailed technical help and advice at https://www.modularfords.com for these Mod motors. I would register and ask your questions there. There are a lot of mod motor buildup outlined in great detail so people there will be able to help.

ks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well the Race Shop, after a month of every other day telling me they were going to pull the engine, then telling me they were going to test trans pressure, they did nothing and call me. They advise me they have a friends shop they can take the car too (remember this is after a month of them telling me every other day they were going to pull it), for $1800...cash only. I almost died on the spot ha. They also linked me to an article to prove to me its the transmission, when that exact article states it was the internal engine clearances causing the issues of eating thrust bearings. Literally blows my mind but its par for the course Ive been on with them.

I have a tow truck in route. Ill have another shop pull the engine for $300 bucks 3 hours or less like I've had before (waited a full month for them to do it), Then I'll document with pictures/videos best I can on the tear down (and possibly I might get it to another shop to dissect.
 

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Do ou have a trans cooler? if you do, you might have a crimped cooler line. This raises the trans pressure and pushes the tc in to the flex plate. The reason I mention this is it was my problem on a 4r70w on a 347.
I don't know if this is your problem, but its worth looking in to.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I do have a trans cooler, as i have for years. Ive ran dual stock and after market trans cooler for most the entire time of the car. The only way for a trans line to be pinched would be from when they installed the engine. Though I dont believe anything was pinched or wrong with the trans, as it was not running hot at all. I know my trans/car temps better then myself.

where/How did you crimp your line @Dono2?
 

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Just something to consider. You obviously know your vehicle far better than anyone. Once the motor is out, do yourself a favour and check the lines over. In my case, I let a guy work on my vehicle (He welded brackets for my A/W intercooler radiator) and crimped a transcooler line moving it out of the way. Needless to say, it took me a long time to find and was very expensive (In my time and parts/machine work).

All the trans guys over at yellowbullet kept telling me to check trans line pressure at the cooler line. It turned out that they were exactly correct, even though I did not believe that this was the issue.

I'm just sharing my experience, as we ll know poor machining at the thrust area, or poor oiling in this area can cause thrust failure also. I don't know enough about the 4.6 motor yet to really comment. Once it's apart you will know more.

I'm sorry you are going thru this btw. I know the pain well. At this point, lets hope you can find the issue so that the same thing doesn't happen to your next motor. Just ask me how that feels. Something about the fetal position on the couch comes to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Appreciate the replies. CHP was going to check the trans line pressure as part of their debug before pulling the engine. It never happened. Going to just small claims court it and move on. Not much I can do if they wont do anything, and at this point I dont want them to touch the thing. I will however document and create some posts for the tear down and whatever we find to actually be the issue.

Going to drop a cheap used motor in there, let it run for a couple months and use that as a piece of evidence in the court case, that the trans/TC setup works fine with a stock motor, it should work fine with built motor if everything was done correctly. If I dont have it tore down and inspected by another shop/machinist by then.
 

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Please keep us updated. We can all learn from your misery.
 

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If I am following this post correctly CHP also installed the new engine and rebuilt converter?

If so there is a chance they did not get the converter seated completely in the pump and that could put enough foward pressure on the crank/ thrust to burn it up. I would also check the converter nose has the proper clearance in the back of the crankshaft. If not that will also apply pressure to the thrust bearing.
These are things I would look for during disassembly. Along with the standard mod motor thrust issues.

I also believed you asked about too much fuel in the oil in another post. And yes if there was enough fuel dilution in the oil that could also cause bearing failure. If this is the case i would believe there will be way more than just thrust bearing failure when you tear it apart. I would suspect to see most of the bearings ate up. Because the fuel is more of a detergent than a lubricant. The oil report from Blackstone labs wil tell you the amount of fuel dilution. But if it the oil has enough fuel in it to kill the bearings there will be no denying it when you drain the oil it will be ultra thin, reak of fuel and there will be way more oil than the 5 or so qts that was originally poured in the oil pan.

I will say do a really good job of documenting the teardown. Most of the time when a failure occurs that early it will be fairly obvious during teardown.



Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #16
CHP didnt rebuild the torque converter, but they install a newly rebuilt one (same one I ran for 4+ years, I just had it sent back and refurbished new for the new engine. I got everything new for the engine install except the trans. The trans had not be touched in any part of this process(no lines opened TC/trans output had another TC sitting on it covering it while stored), though its possible CHP pinched a transmission line (Im going to fully inspect this any day here) but I dont think that happened either as the trans never ran hot, always good temps.

Your Theory is the current theory most have, but I also just think there was something wrong/off with the engine itself.
It was running hot on freeway runs on cold cold nights with 70mph winds going through it, brand new engine/radiator. I feel like there was some type of oil/engine issue that slowly destroyed the thrust bearing (and probably a lot more inside).

Appreciate it, Ill start a fresh thread on the tear down, and document everything along the way. Pictures/Video.

Where would the fuel be coming in from? if the spark plugs look brand new/perfect, not wet/dirty/dark, wouldn't they show something if there is that much fuel coming from them? I wouldnt put it past CHP to pour gas in to try and claim it was a tune related issue but curious how if that much fuel got in there was related to me in any way but I have multiple samples to send out to black labs, Ill include that in the tear down results post.

Just super bummed. killed my wallet, but more so killed my passion for this car and build. killed me mentally. Specially just being dicked around by them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ill get the supercharger/intercooler stuff off today. hopefully plugs/TB off this weekend.

CHP once I mentioned small claims, is now for the first time ever telling me there is fuel in the oil.

3 weeks of blaming the trans, and lying about pulling the motor, blaming everything but the engine. Then trying to get me to pay $1800 cash to a friends shop to dyno my trans? but now there is magically fuel in the oil (why were they so concerned with the transmission pressure if there was fuel in the oil)? why were we going to the cash only dyno for the trans?
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Started this weekend to take things down so the block can get pulled. I got the supercharger/intercooler/pipes/throttle body/injector/coils/spark plugs. I also got a bore scope down each cylinder, curious what the engine gurus here think.

The plugs are much Darker now (Im not sure if the engine shop ran the car and how long if any. Also I can get the exact miles tomorrow and tally it out), but I pulled cylinder 5 plug 10/21 at 800~ miles on the engine, but cylinder 5 (and all cylinders are dark now). The car only had 200~ miles in between those pictures, so something happened there. The plugs were all hard as **** to get out, I took video of removing two of them, and its the hardest ive ever had to remove spark plugs.

Video of how hard it was to remove spark plug: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OptVseYJFLwgByCTTCBWcPB39uA5Uxmx

Cylinder 5 plug at around 1000~ miles 10/20/19 3:30pm PST( this was hours before the car gave out, not even 20~ miles for a short drive later that night where all kinds of knocking, misfiring, loose of power) I parked the car and towed it to the engine shop without ever starting it again:
1053975


Cylinder 5 plug at around 1030 miles~ (I pulled this after I towed the car back from the engine shop, not sure if they started/had the car running, but something failed dramatically for the plugs to change like that with so few miles.) possibly when the car failed on me that night 10/20/19 9:30pm~ PST, maybe crank movement causing no spark? and just fueling?:
1053976



When I removed the fuel rails, none of the fuel injectors wanted to come out with it. So fuel went all over the injectors, in the seats/electrical plugs on them, I tried to dry it up, but i think some went down some cylinders slightly.


Cylinder 1-4 Borescope video: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1P63c6I5qDAAMhPOcDYyl71dmvHwg1G2g
Cylinder 5-8 Borescope video: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PAMuGhZA4i2XpRIQmUqx0JvfdHXqjoeo

appreciate any thoughts. thanks.
 

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IIRC oil with high zinc contents will black much quicker...dont hold me to it tho. Messing with these modulars all the time i haven't much experience using zinc content oil alot. FYI high zinc content oil is added protection for camshaft break in only for a flat tappet cam. Yet idiots of all kind still believe zinc is for breaking in a engine of today. I dont care what brand of oil or what the company claims the oil is for....zinc is not for a modular. Good ol' plain synthetic 0w-20, 5w-20

Also to note, ive experienced the fuel pressure sensor on 99- up mustangs will break internally sending pressurized fuel through the vacuum line dumping into the intake. No visible out appearances or sign of fuel transfering.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Im not sure if zinc was used at all, the engine shop did the original oil.

The sensor is a few months old, but thats a good thing to check... Just a simple vaccum test on the FPS shoud see if it holds air? or if the diaphragm is blown out inside it.
 
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