So I finally raced my Cavalier in 24 Hours of Lemons. It is actually a pretty good little car for it. However I have an issue.
Before racing it, I disconnected the power steering and took out all the hosess. I lift the pump and pulley in place though, thinking it was the easiest solution because it allowed me to run the standard drive belt. What I didn't realize is that the power steering pulley uses the power steering fluid to keep it cool and lubricated. So a few hours in the power steering pulley failed and threw our drive belt off. Additioanlly, our temp guage wasn't working so we didn't realize we were building up heat until too late.
I have since searched around and found the right way to delete power steering, including how to run a much shorter (~46.5 inch) drive belt.
However I am now left with an engine that won't start. It will spin freely and sounds like it wants to try and catch, but never quite gets there. Everyone at the Lemons races has opinions and some thought if I just pull the head, have it shaved and put in all new gaskets, we'll be OK. Some thought I needed a whole new engine.
Any one have any thoughts on how to see if I just need to pull the head and rebuild that or if I need a whole new engine? Thoughts on good head rebuild kits if that is the way to go? What else am I not thinking about?
Either way I'm sure the head is warped. But you could always do a leakdown test before and after to be sure. When the head is off you'll be able to inspect the cylinder walls to see if anything broke and gouged it. If there's no obvious scoring on the walls then you're probably ok to try and surface the head and install a new head gasket.
"In Oldskool we trust"
I got the head off and the far left cylinder had an inch of water in it. The next two had water in them as well though not as much. A friend who knows more about cars than I do suggested it might be time for a whole new engine. I guess better safe than sorry.
Not necessarily do you need a new engine. If the head is warped then that can be easily confirmed with a straight edge and a farmer gauge. The bottom might be ether savable or rebuildable depending on the cylinder walls and the crank bearings. Don't toss it unless you have no other choice.
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