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Unread 05-17-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
PAFirefighter11
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Anyone Seen This Before? Valve Spring OVER Retainer

So for many, many months (July of last year approx.) I've had a drivability condition with one of my Trans Ams (the 1998). It started having a slight hesitation in 6th gear while on the highway. This slowly got worse and worse, to the point where the car sounded like it had a nice, big lift, lopey cam. I loved the sound at idle, but it ran like *** so it wasn't too much fun for me. I went from 22 MPG average to around 12.


Here is are two crappy videos to demonstrate what was happening (at idle at least):


Here are both of them ('98 has the TT2's):



I started throwing money at things, since I didn't have much free time to really diagnose it. I had changed:

-Plugs
-Wires
-Y-pipe & cats
-Gaskets
-o2 Sensors (Got rid of my P0420 bad o2 sensor code at least)
-Intake
-MAF
-PCM
-Wiring harness pieces
-Coil packs
-Injectors

And more!

HP Tuners / EFI Live were showing:
-Cyl #5 misfire
-Cyl #7 misfire
-Random Cyl #8 misfire
-Random Cyl #6 half fire

Some photos...

2 interesting things. First, I noticed this on the ECU I pulled from my car is a reman:


Second here's the corrosion that's all over both the ECU and the harness side (I cleaned this all up since the photo):


I had 109,XXX miles and do not think that the prior owner changed the wires. The plugs are half and half. I changed the wires to Vengeance Racing:


Also running new TR55 NGK plugs gapped to .055. The gap of the old plugs was at .085!

These were the plugs, set up in cylinder order. Top plugs are the front of the vehicle:


#8 plug:


I've never had any other codes than:
P0420 - Catalyst efficiency below threshold (original code I've had for some time)
P0300 - Random misfire detected
P0140 - o2 circuit blah blah (from when I disconnected the driver side downstream o2 sensor to check it)

Fuel trims were insane:
Fuel Trim Bank 1 Short Term = 16.406 %
Fuel Trim Bank 1 Long Term = 24.219 %
Fuel Trim Bank 2 Short Term = -5.469 %
Fuel Trim Bank 2 Long Term = 13.281 %

Took it to a few shops. This was from a former GM dealer:


Ran a compression check myself on 4 of the cylinders (Easy ones to get to):


All were within spec that I was able to check.

A buddy of mine with EFI Live checked the car and suggested a broken valve spring. The driver side valve springs looked okay (Minus the color):


But when we got to the passenger side, it's a MUCH different story:


A little closer:




Time to rip the top end apart:






Steve has his old LS1 with 55k miles on it (He has his LS6 now) so we're using his heads, springs, rockers, etc:

















Oh haiii... Found 2 of these - of course we didn't verify which cylinder(s) they were from:


Looks like aftermarket springs, retainers... Possibly a head off of a newer Trans Am, Corvette, etc.?






And a couple non-cell phone shots with my Nikon D2x and Tamron 17-55 f/2.8:






Some progress last night:




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-98 ZJ Limited 5.9L - 4.5" lift, 32" Mickey Thompson MTZ's, Tomken rocker guards, D44 rear, 3.73's, LSD, 4xDoctor D30 guard, custom projector HID headlights, custom intake, LED lightbar, underdrive pulley, trans vent tube - Wheeler/Bad Weather Rig
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Unread 05-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #2
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This is where we currently are:



Still a bit more work but I'm happy to see it so close to being up and running again. Cannot wait to have 'er back! Need to do the same thing to my '01 thanks to a possible bad head gasket, passenger side. Fun.. once again!
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-98 ZJ Limited 5.9L - 4.5" lift, 32" Mickey Thompson MTZ's, Tomken rocker guards, D44 rear, 3.73's, LSD, 4xDoctor D30 guard, custom projector HID headlights, custom intake, LED lightbar, underdrive pulley, trans vent tube - Wheeler/Bad Weather Rig
-98 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS7 - 5.7L LS1, 6 speed, K&N FIPK, Flowmaster cat back, Pioneer system - Summer Cruiser
-01 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 - Toy
-03 VW Golf TDI (Diesel) - Commuter
-Former Jeeps: XJ, YJ, XJ, YJ, TJ, ZJ, ZJ
-Rick Rotondo Photography - Nikon D2x, lots of glass, lighting, tri & monopods, and other gear
-FDNY 9/11/01 - All gave some. Some gave all.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 05:35 PM   #3
thantos858
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Only time I seen something like that was a diesel that died. Gotta love bad parts.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 11:31 PM   #4
jeepdaddy2000
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Broken valve spring. Seen it many times.......
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Unread 05-19-2013, 11:40 PM   #5
5-90
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Awful lot of work for a busted valve spring - unless you're changing the heads out entirely, there was no reason for them to even come off...

But, yeah, I've seen broken valve springs before. Most often caused by a void inside the spring metal - rolling out spring wire often eliminates voids through working, but not always. Some can persist. (They're far less common in wrought stock than cast, but they can still happen...)
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Unread 05-20-2013, 07:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5-90 View Post
Awful lot of work for a busted valve spring - unless you're changing the heads out entirely, there was no reason for them to even come off...

But, yeah, I've seen broken valve springs before. Most often caused by a void inside the spring metal - rolling out spring wire often eliminates voids through working, but not always. Some can persist. (They're far less common in wrought stock than cast, but they can still happen...)
You think that even after seeing these photos?!?!?







The #8 valve area was big time messed up.
__________________
-Rick
-Quadratec Live Chat Rep.
-Please contact us at user ID "Quadratec" with any Sales or CS questions. You can also contact Sales at 1-800-745-2348 or Customer Service at 1-800-745-6037
-The statements in this message do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Quadratec, Inc.

-98 ZJ Limited 5.9L - 4.5" lift, 32" Mickey Thompson MTZ's, Tomken rocker guards, D44 rear, 3.73's, LSD, 4xDoctor D30 guard, custom projector HID headlights, custom intake, LED lightbar, underdrive pulley, trans vent tube - Wheeler/Bad Weather Rig
-98 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS7 - 5.7L LS1, 6 speed, K&N FIPK, Flowmaster cat back, Pioneer system - Summer Cruiser
-01 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 - Toy
-03 VW Golf TDI (Diesel) - Commuter
-Former Jeeps: XJ, YJ, XJ, YJ, TJ, ZJ, ZJ
-Rick Rotondo Photography - Nikon D2x, lots of glass, lighting, tri & monopods, and other gear
-FDNY 9/11/01 - All gave some. Some gave all.
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Unread 05-22-2013, 05:49 AM   #7
vadslram
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Looks like you were sucking lots of oil past the valve to me. So a full head recon seemed the right move.

Without the close set coils at the end of the spring coupled with the fast shifting when it snapped it makes sense that the end could come over the retainer. I've never seen it happen before but I haven't seen everything yet.
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broken valve spring , pontiac , trans am , ws6 ls1

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