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Discussion Starter #1
So the 94 Town and Country broke...

Long story shortened: Broke a valve seat. Mechanic said it would be risky to rebuild the top half of the engine but not the bottom half. Top half suddenly holding full compression, maybe the bottom half won't handle it.

My thought was maybe just get some used heads, make sure they're in useable condition and flat, and slap them on... It sounds reasonable, but is that a really bad idea?

I've pulled one head off, and I think I've gotten really lucky; there are just two little scuffs on the piston. I think I can safely leave that one in. Most of the broken seat stayed held up by the valve.

(Working on the second head, there is that one stud for an exhaust manifold bolt. How the heck is that supposed to come off? I've tried locking two nuts on it, but they aren't holding...)

I'm toying with the idea of just having the heads rebuilt, avoiding the wrecking yard entirely. But that whole lower half of the engine thing...

Suggestions?
 

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......Long story shortened: Broke a valve seat. Mechanic said it would be risky to rebuild the top half of the engine but not the bottom half. Top half suddenly holding full compression, maybe the bottom half won't handle it.............
False, not true!

You can safely overhaul the top without messing with the bottom part. Now, if you overhaul the bottom but not the heads, then more likely than not, you will andup with a smoking engine, but nothing more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was honestly hoping someone would tell me this. I suspected it to be the case, but was uncertain.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Finally managed to get that stud out. Second head removed, all seems well there. Going to progress to rebuilding the heads...
 

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There is some truth to having an engine burn oil after having the heads off, it is due to the debris in the rings lands getting hard and causing the rings to stick.
Honda had a TSB about this years ago.

I make sure to keep the cylinders oiled down when I have an engine apart.

How many miles on the engine? I had my upper end all apart at 345k and it has been just fine since. It has not caused it to use any more oil, ect....
http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/96833-It-was-a-sad-day-my-94-went-down-for-the-first-time....-ever?highlight=sad+day

This is what I used to get that stud out you talked about.


and one in action
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's a spiffy little tool. :) I finally managed to get it with two nuts locked together, and a little oil soaking on it for a while.

I think its getting close to 200K miles.

So I priced having all the valve seats replaced. (I don't trust them now. I really don't want to replace just the one, and risk having another one drop in a week.) Ouch. $500 plus... I can buy remanufactured heads online cheaper. Which leads to my next question: Has anybody bought heads online? Good idea, bad idea? I'm looking at cylinderhead.com, but certainly open to suggestions.
 

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I just use Vise-Grips, lots of 'Panther-Piss' (the local aviation folk here call WD-40 and LPS-3 that) and a propane torch. Soak, heat, soak again, whap stud straight-on with a California Framer hammer, twist a teeny bit to the right and then off to the left. Works every time. And yeah, seat replacement ain't cheap. Gads!
 

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That's a spiffy little tool. :) I finally managed to get it with two nuts locked together, and a little oil soaking on it for a while.

I think its getting close to 200K miles.

So I priced having all the valve seats replaced. (I don't trust them now. I really don't want to replace just the one, and risk having another one drop in a week.) Ouch. $500 plus... I can buy remanufactured heads online cheaper. Which leads to my next question: Has anybody bought heads online? Good idea, bad idea? I'm looking at cylinderhead.com, but certainly open to suggestions.
I assume when a machine shop do valve seats they will also install new valve guides and seals or oversized valves and seals. Doesn't hurt to ask.
 

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So the 94 Town and Country broke...

Long story shortened: Broke a valve seat. Mechanic said it would be risky to rebuild the top half of the engine but not the bottom half. Top half suddenly holding full compression, maybe the bottom half won't handle it.
I've been hearing that OWT (Old Wives Tale) since the 1960s, and while it was totally untrue back then, I'm thinking it is even less true now (if that's possible). Any mechanic caught saying what your mechanic told you needs to go back to school.
 
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