2004 R53 (re)Build Thread

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by trevhead, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. trevhead

    trevhead Member

    Apr 15, 2019
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    Hi everyone. I'll be documenting a big job (for me) to both solve a major problem and take care of many aged parts, and hopefully solve a persistent oil leak that has evaded me so far.

    This is a 2004 MCS six-speed. I'm the original owner and it is now my 18-year-old son's daily driver after being my daily for 15 years. It has 152,000 miles and has been well-serviced by two mechanics throughout its life, and by me for the last few years.

    This all started over here where I was troubleshooting codes p0302 for a cylinder 2 misfire, along with p0456 for an EVAP system leak. Thanks to several of you who helped me out over there (MCS02 and Myles2Go, and others!) That thread ended with my mechanic finding the main problem - a burned valve on cylinder two.

    We're now digging into the following:
    • pull the cylinder head
    • cylinder head to machine shop for valve job
    • new timing chain
    • new timing tensioner
    • new chain guides
    • new oil pan gasket
    • new crankshaft position sensor o-ring
    • new oil filter housing gasket
    • new belt tensioner & pulley
    • new supercharger pulley - Cravenspeed 15% reduction
    • new crankshaft pulley - Cravenspeed 2%
    • new idler pulley
    • new crankshaft seal
    • new belt
    • new valve cover gasket
    • new timing cover gasket and seals
    • and of course, new oil and coolant
    I'll document this work with a summary of each day, photos wherever possible, and almost certainly some questions along the way.


    In May of 2020, we did what I thought was a major refresh. Oh how innocent I was... at that time, we:
    • removed the supercharger and replaced its oil
    • replaced the green supercharger-to-block gasket
    • replaced the supercharger-to-charged air plenum gasket
    • replaced the throttle body gasket
    • replaced the valve cover gasket
    • replaced the spark plugs
    • replaced water pump outlet o-rings
    • replaced the belt
    • replaced upper and lower radiator hoses
    • replaced the radiator
    • replaced both oxygen sensors
    • replaced the exhaust manifold & cat (original manifold cracked, which led to this work in the first place)

    Fair warning - I think I work pretty slow! I doubt I'll be posting up huge progress each day, and to make it worse, I'll probably only be getting into this on the weekends unless I get really deep in it and take a day off work. I'm no pro, I'm learning from YouTube, forums like this, and my new Bentley manual and the Haynes manual we've had for a few years. I take my time, bag and label parts and hardware, and stop when I'm tired (or my garage gets too cold - it's awful right now).


    Day 1
    Got a slow start, but set a goal to lay eyes on the crankshaft by the time I was done, and I managed that much. I also got my first look at just how bad the oil leak really is. The horizontal surfaces are covered in oil from the front of the block all the way back past the power steering fan. It's not good. Really hoping the gaskets and seals I replace will solve this.

    Today we accomplished:
    • front-end service mode with the radiator frame supported on 8mm x 100mm bolts
    • removed the power steering fan to get it out of the way
    • drained oil
    • removed lower engine mount; rubber bushing is cracked, new one on order
    • removed the serpentine belt
    • removed AC compressor
    • pulled the crankshaft position sensor, replaced o-ring
    • removed the oil pan
    • removed the intercooler
    Lots of little bits of metal in the oil pan... I'm really not feeling good about that. It's been years since the oil pan was off - the gasket was last replaced at 110,000 miles in 2016. That was done by my mechanic, and they reported a clean pan at that time. So all these little shavings and flecks are from the last 40,000 miles. I change the oil every 5,000 to 6,000 miles with LiquiMoly Molygen. I'm not sure yet what to make of this, but it seems it could be bad news for the state of the engine internals.

    Nasty Engine Mount
    Oil Pan & Gasket
    Crankshaft, wiped down
    Crankshaft
    Look at all that mucky oil on everything
    Clean oil pan interior
    Dirty oil pan exterior (to clean tomorrow)


    Tomorrow's plan is to detach the exhaust manifold (and heat shields) and pull the oil filter housing for its new gasket. Then I'll get the new oil pan gasket and oil pan back in so I can get my jack under the pan to support the engine for removal of the belt tensioner and pulleys. But the cylinder head is my priority - I may get those other steps complete to be ready for the pulleys, but I want to get the cylinder head to the machine shop on Monday, so that's my primary goal for tomorrow. I'll share progress tomorrow night.
     
  2. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Jul 31, 2009
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    Excellent thread! Your right metal in the pan is not a good sign. The bottom end of that motor is built like an anvil. I can’t imagine whet is making metal.
     
  3. trevhead

    trevhead Member

    Apr 15, 2019
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    I've ordered a test kit from Blackstone Laboratories. I'll transfer the drained oil into a clean container so I can check it out when the kit arrives, should be one to two weeks according to their site. Meanwhile, I'll carry on... need to fight through the morning-after sore shoulders and back!
     
  4. trevhead

    trevhead Member

    Apr 15, 2019
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    Day 2
    My goal today was to get the cylinder head out. I want to drop it off at the machine shop tomorrow so he can have it all week if necessary (expected lead time about three days, but might depend on if we need to replace any parts with the valves and springs etc). After about 10 hours of hard work, the head is out! Among other things. Today we accomplished:

    • new oil pan gasket and oil pan re-installed
    • pulled the exhaust manifold free from the block
    • removed the oil filter housing and replaced its gasket; re-installed the filter housing
    • removed the DME and the airbox, along with the air intake tubes
    • drained coolant
    • removed the fuel rail
    • removed the valve cover
    • pulled the camshaft pulley and freed the timing chain
    • removed the chain tensioner and chain guides
    • finally removed the cylinder head!

    Not much of a list for 10 hours, is it? It is so much work to get through everything to finally get to the head. And I really took my time with the oil pan and filter housing, I've never done those before. Just finding the damn bolts for the filter housing was probably 45 minutes! ModMini's video on YouTube is my savior. I had that up all day long, play a few seconds, pause it, do the work, go back. I'd switch between that video and the Bentley manual to be sure I was catching everything.

    Oil filter housing, old gasket. It has about 42,000 miles on it. I'm not sure of the lifespan for these, but that seems not so old. But there was oil seeping out at the bolts, so this was at least one source of the constant leaks.

    Rockers. They look awesome. Everything here appears to be in fantastic shape, no grooves or marking on the camshaft or the brackets. The brackets popped right off with my hands very easily, as I believe they are supposed to.

    Found a broken bolt in my throttle body housing. At the top of the photo. I did that last May, apparently. That's the last time the throttle body was out and back in. Dang. I've never had to resolve to broken-off bolt in a housing like this, I don't even know where to start with getting it out. Maybe possible to get pliers on the little bit sticking out to back it out? Haven't tried yet.

    The main event! The valves do not look so good. Although I'm not exactly an expert. Looking at cylinder 2 (this is oriented 1 through 4 from left to right in the photo), I can tell it is burned. Thing is, cylinder 1 looks about the same, 3 isn't much cleaner, and 4 does appear to be cleaner but not great. Although I'd imagine there is going to be a lot of this dark build-up after 152,000 miles regardless of a major problem. At any rate, I can't wait to see this after the machining and valve job.

    The block and cylinders. I have shop towels stuffed into cylinders 1 and 2 to sop up the mess you see in cylinders 3 and 4. There was coolant pooled on top of each cylinder. That had to have come from lifting out the head, right? It would be all chocolate-milky if it was actually mixing up in there, correct? Bigger question: Do the tops of the cylinders look okay or normal? There is a a lot of built-up grime and crust on them, and I don't know if that is to be expected or not. Either way - should I try to get those clean, and if so, what are the preferred methods or materials?

    Two days of work, all organized and waiting to go back in.


    I'm sore and exhausted but pretty satisfied with the first weekend. I doubt I'll get into much if any of it during the week this week, but I'll share updates about the valve job progress if there's anything noteworthy. Other than that, I'll be back next weekend, hopefully with a clean and fresh cylinder head to re-install. But first, I'll be getting into replacing the timing chain, tensioner and guides, and the crankshaft and supercharger pulleys. And tensioner. And idler. Miles to go here.
     
  5. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    For the broken bolt I would put some penetrating oil on it and let it soak in first. Then if you can get a good grip on it with some vice grips that should do the trick, just get them on good and tight. The other option would be to cut a slit in the broken bolt and use a flat head screwdriver to get it out. If nether of those work you will have to drill it out. I am very surprised you did not have an air leak because of that broken bolt. Perhaps you did causing the motor to run to lean and thats what burned the valve. Oh also put a shop rag in that opening, you don't want anything falling in.

    If you did not drain the block then you still had antifreeze in the head. Not a problem. You may want to take the drain plug out of the oil pan to get any antifreeze out that went down to the pan when you removed the head.

    I think the pistons look ok its hard to tell. from the picture it looks like just carbon build up except where the antifreeze sat on them. If you want you could clean the carbon off the tops. Just be gentle and don't gouge or scrap up the tops of the pistons. Also get the pistons at the top of their stork to wipe them clean. I am picky but I would use a shop vac to get anything that falls down on the rings.
     
  6. trevhead

    trevhead Member

    Apr 15, 2019
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    great advice, thanks - pretty much describes what I planned on doing.

    Got the head back yesterday, it is beeeeyooooteeeeful... shame to put it back in and hide it!

    I had the same thought as you re: the broken bolt on the throttle body, that was a likely cause of this whole situation. I broke that (unknowingly) when I reassembled everything last May. It seems plausible that it's been causing it to run lean ever since. That relatively short amount of time might also explain why the guy that did the valve job said yes, the valve is slightly burned, but really not bad. The bigger valve issue was that they were out of round and he corrected that. Besides that he said everything was in really good shape.

    Back to work on everything tomorrow. Pulleys, timing chain and reinstalling the head, hopefully all done on Sunday and we start it back up by the end of the weekend.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2013
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    Head looks great. Hope your reassembly goes smoothly.
     
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