Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Whose Fault? Engine seized after carb/intake mfld/spk plugs replace


  • Please log in to reply
57 replies to this topic

#1 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:31 PM

I would like to ask for some advise. I took my GL to the carb shop because it was time for CA smog, and there was a an idle issue, but the car drove strong. Last Tuesday evening I drove the car twenty miles to the shop with no problems, dropped it off, and slid the key under the door.

 

The next day the mechanic told me that they changed the oil and spark plugs, and rebuilt and installed the carb. He said the car idles ok, but now the car would not drive well because of an intake manifold leak. I told him that it must be the carburetor because it drove well before and the carburetor is the only thing that has changed. Regardless, I told him he could change the manifold gaskets. 

 

Now the story gets interesting. After the manifold and carb were reinstalled, he said that he took it for a test drive and that the engine stopped, and SEIZED!

 

The way I see it is that either the carburetor was originally fine and that the manifold gaskets needed to be replaced in the first place, and that the carburetor was fine. 

 

Based on this story is it plausible and probable that something got dropped into the the engine causing the seize? Any other possibilities or recommendations?



#2 MilesFox

MilesFox

    Catch this Fox!

  • Members
  • 10,581 posts
  • Madison/Milwaukee, WI

Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:05 PM

Possible seizure could be die to lw oil if the oil change got screwed up.

 

In regards to the intake gaskets, it is possible if it was installed wrong that coolant could have flooded the cylinder and hydrolocked. Soob motors don't normally seize. It would throw a rod thru the block before that happens.

 

Anythign dropped into the intake port would have to get past the valve. Perhaps something fell into the spark plug hole?

 

Maybe the motor didn't seize, but broke a timing belt. The engine is non interference, so if you hear anything about bent valves beware. Especially if the mechanic installs them wrong (out of phase)



#3 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:54 PM

I believe from what I have read is that there is no timing belt, but it is gear driven. The mechanic also said that he tried to manually turn the engine from the crank, and that it was stuck.

 

Maybe the spark plug hole. I am disappointed because this EA81 only has about 84,000 miles on it.

 

As far as I know he did not touch the valves. 



#4 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:57 PM

Here is a photo

Attached Files



#5 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 16 July 2013 - 04:01 PM

He told me that this water port was plugged and that he unplugged it (photo attached). I do not know what this port is, but maybe the heater??? If it was a plugged heater port that would possibly explain why the heater never worked.

 

Or could this have something to do with a hydrolock???

Attached Files



#6 Uberoo

Uberoo

    Subaru Wheeler

  • Members
  • 3,426 posts
  • lewiston,ID

Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:30 PM

If I borrow a friend truck and the engine is good and sometime while I am using the truck the engine blows,It is my fault and either my money buys an engine or my labor installs the engine, or both.



#7 MR_Loyale

MR_Loyale

    20 Years of Ownership. 94-14

  • Members
  • 979 posts
  • Seattle

Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:12 PM

Take him to court. He owes you a new engine. You'd have been better off having the three stooges work on your engine.



#8 Idasho

Idasho

    Lost in the woods....

  • Members
  • 968 posts
  • North ID

Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:03 PM

Sounds to me like he dumped enough coolant into the heads when he changed the intake manifold gaskets that he hydrolocked the motor.

 

He owes you a motor.



#9 scoobiedubie

scoobiedubie

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 473 posts
  • Aloha, Oregon

Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:33 PM

Pull all the plugs and turn it over by hand until you get all of the water out.  Then reinstall plugs and plug wires and see if it will start.  Make sure that the intake manifold gaskets were installed correctly, otherwise the problem could repeat itself.  You might initially look to see whether there is extra gasket material sticking out from beneath the intake manifold, that might indicate that they were either installed backwards, or shifted before the bolts were inserted.  The plugs might also indicate which cylinder have the problems, so inspect those for unusual coloring.  That could narrow down your search for the problem.



#10 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 20,012 posts
  • WV

Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:07 AM

oh man, thats no good.   maybe still a chance of a simpler cause...

 

were you taking the car in for any issues, reasons?

it's been driving great with no issues for the past couple of years?

 

oil starvation, coolant drained during work and forgot to refill it, leading to an overheat?

 

this could be tough for him to figure out without a solid diagnosis of failure, mechanics would get owned by folks taking intermittent or covered up issues to them and then blaming them for it (not saying you'd do that, but just that it's going to be hard for them to determine what's going on). the wal-mart return policy of auto repair.



#11 NorthWet

NorthWet

    Eeyore Incarnate

  • Members
  • 5,039 posts
  • Bremerton, WA

Posted 17 July 2013 - 02:00 AM

He told me that this water port was plugged and that he unplugged it (photo attached). I do not know what this port is, but maybe the heater??? If it was a plugged heater port that would possibly explain why the heater never worked.

 

Or could this have something to do with a hydrolock???

That little tube is a vent tube to allow air to escape from the top of the engine's coolant jackets.  The tube connects to a  little hose that goes up to the thermostat housing.  Although it would make doing a proper coolant fill difficult/impossible if it were in fact plugged, it is unlikely to be involved in any of the problems.

 

Lots of speculation going on.  It would be nice to find out if the engine actually seized (ring/bearing surfaces stuck together) or if the engine merely inhaled liquid that it could not compress.  Was the engine actually running when it stopped, or did they shut off the engine and then couldn't get it to crank?

 

There is a gasket on the carb-to-manifold surface that also has coolant against it.  If this gasket had a problem, or if they used the wrong gasket, you could get coolant ingestion from there.


Edited by NorthWet, 17 July 2013 - 02:02 AM.


#12 skishop69

skishop69

    If it ain't broke, you're not trying.

  • Members
  • 941 posts
  • Puyallup

Posted 17 July 2013 - 09:34 AM

Engines don't normally seize on there own all of a sudden without neglect or catastrophic failure. You drove it in fine with ONLY 84 K and now it's seized??? Pretty sure in CA he is responsible. Call the Ca BAR (beareau of automotive repair). He owes you an engine. I know every placed I've worked in Wa, if we had the vehicle when something went wrong, we ate it. I just don't see an EA81 with only 84K just all of a sudden seizing unless it were run bone dry on oil or someone free revved it into oblivion.



#13 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:28 AM

Pull all the plugs and turn it over by hand until you get all of the water out.  Then reinstall plugs and plug wires and see if it will start.  Make sure that the intake manifold gaskets were installed correctly, otherwise the problem could repeat itself.  You might initially look to see whether there is extra gasket material sticking out from beneath the intake manifold, that might indicate that they were either installed backwards, or shifted before the bolts were inserted.  The plugs might also indicate which cylinder have the problems, so inspect those for unusual coloring.  That could narrow down your search for the problem.

Thanks, I will do that. I am going to look at the car in a couple hours.

 

That little tube is a vent tube to allow air to escape from the top of the engine's coolant jackets.  The tube connects to a  little hose that goes up to the thermostat housing.  Although it would make doing a proper coolant fill difficult/impossible if it were in fact plugged, it is unlikely to be involved in any of the problems.

 

Lots of speculation going on.  It would be nice to find out if the engine actually seized (ring/bearing surfaces stuck together) or if the engine merely inhaled liquid that it could not compress.  Was the engine actually running when it stopped, or did they shut off the engine and then couldn't get it to crank?

 

There is a gasket on the carb-to-manifold surface that also has coolant against it.  If this gasket had a problem, or if they used the wrong gasket, you could get coolant ingestion from there.

He said that he was driving it when it died. After that he said that they could not get it to turn manually from the crank. I do not know if they took the plugs out or not. I am going to look at the car in a couple hours. I will update after that. Thanks for the info on the water port.



#14 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:37 AM

oh man, thats no good.   maybe still a chance of a simpler cause...

 

were you taking the car in for any issues, reasons?

it's been driving great with no issues for the past couple of years?

 

oil starvation, coolant drained during work and forgot to refill it, leading to an overheat?

 

this could be tough for him to figure out without a solid diagnosis of failure, mechanics would get owned by folks taking intermittent or covered up issues to them and then blaming them for it (not saying you'd do that, but just that it's going to be hard for them to determine what's going on). the wal-mart return policy of auto repair.

I brought it in because it needed smog and it would not idle without a little gas pedal since a few days before. I specifically told him this and his initial diagnosis was that the carb needed to be rebuilt, and to pass smog it needed an oil change because the oil was probably contaminated with fuel. He also changed the plugs. It was after that the car was able to idle, but the new problem presented itself that it would hardly accelerate. After that he said that he needed to change the intake man gaskets. Then he said that he thinks there was a problem with his carb rebuild and he would call me in a few days when he got some parts in. Well, a few days came around and he reported that the engine seized.

 

It ran pretty well since he rebuilt the carb a year and a half before. No other problems. Fluids were maintained frequently and well. no leaks.


Edited by bluebonnet81, 17 July 2013 - 11:40 AM.


#15 the sucker king

the sucker king

    great fisherman

  • Members
  • 1,927 posts
  • Lyons, Colorado

Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:59 PM

I brought it in because it needed smog and it would not idle without a little gas pedal since a few days before. I specifically told him this and his initial diagnosis was that the carb needed to be rebuilt, and to pass smog it needed an oil change because the oil was probably contaminated with fuel. He also changed the plugs. It was after that the car was able to idle, but the new problem presented itself that it would hardly accelerate. After that he said that he needed to change the intake man gaskets. Then he said that he thinks there was a problem with his carb rebuild and he would call me in a few days when he got some parts in. Well, a few days came around and he reported that the engine seized.

 

It ran pretty well since he rebuilt the carb a year and a half before. No other problems. Fluids were maintained frequently and well. no leaks.

I don't like some of the things he said. A carb should not need to be rebuilt after a year and a half, and I would not assume that it needs to be rebuilt for not idling. But then I don't know how he diagnosed the need for rebuild. Gas in the oil? don't know what that's about.

The intake gaskets leaking could have been the reason for no idle in the first place. This is all speculation, but something definately stinks.



#16 the sucker king

the sucker king

    great fisherman

  • Members
  • 1,927 posts
  • Lyons, Colorado

Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:02 PM

also wouldn't assume he is legally liable. the car is 30 years old and you would need some proof that he's at fault. Don't get me wrong, I would be rather upset with the guy and i do think he did something very wrong. But you never know. You need to find out whats wrong with the engine.



#17 turbosubarubrat

turbosubarubrat

    2nd gen hoarder

  • Members
  • 1,154 posts
  • Sandy, OR

Posted 17 July 2013 - 02:45 PM

older mechanic/auto-body friend of mine told me once if you get the wrong spark plugs or gap the right ones way off it can melt components together or blow a piston or valve out of the block. he got to learn that the hard way on a v-8 he rebuilt/painted/suited up.

 

something about this doesn't sound right with only 84k on it this guy must have really pushed it hard like the previous owner of my 85 brat. these motors should last 300k or high 200k's. the guy who had my brat blew the motor and transmission in under a week then replaced them with low mile imports from japan with have about 40k on them then he was done with it because a branch went through the windshield and the clutch need replaced which a new exedy one was included. i got her for $900 for my first car and the motor cost over $600 and the transmission was close to $500.


Edited by turbosubarubrat, 17 July 2013 - 02:46 PM.


#18 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 17 July 2013 - 04:10 PM

also wouldn't assume he is legally liable. the car is 30 years old and you would need some proof that he's at fault. Don't get me wrong, I would be rather upset with the guy and i do think he did something very wrong. But you never know. You need to find out whats wrong with the engine.

The car is 30 years old, but it is low miles, and has been maintained well. My biggest problem is that even if he did not create the problem, he repeatedly misdiagnosed it, and test drove it to failure. I will post a summary below of what I submitted to the Automotive Bureau.



#19 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 17 July 2013 - 04:12 PM

What I submitted to the Bureau of Automotive Repair:

 

Mechanic reports engine is seized after his repairs : Since
Tuesday 7/9/13 my vehicle (Subaru GL 1981 with approx 84,000 miles) has been in
the care of So Cal Carburetors in El Cajon, CA. I drove my car 21 miles from my
house in Mira Mesa to the carburetor specialists shop in El Cajon with no
difficulty and left it at the shop. This vehicle is a reliable daily driver.


The reason I delivered my car here is because the car would

not idle without applying a little gas pedal, and smog was due on 7/16/13. I
requested that the car be inspected for diagnosis/repair and to be smog tested.
Other than the idle difficulty, the car drove excellently. This shop performed
repair maintenance and smog including carburetor rebuild less than two years
ago for the previous smog period.


When I called the shop and spoke to Shawn, he told me that

the idle problem is because of a blockage in the carburetor, so the carburetor
needs to be rebuilt. He also said that the engine oil had recently been
changed, it is probably contaminated with fuel because of the carburetor
problem, so the oil and spark plugs need to be changed. I consented, so Shawn's
mechanic reportedly rebuilt the carburetor, and changed the oil and spark
plugs. He said that he fixed the idle problem. NEW problems occurred...


When Shawn called me he said that the car is not

driving/accelerating properly after his repair because there is a intake
manifold leak so the gaskets need to be replaced. I visited his shop, and paid
him in full for the work that he had performed up to that point. Reluctantly I
consented to his further repair advise even though this driving/accelerating
problem did not exist before he changed the carburetor. He said that part of
the gasket replacement is removing all of the engine coolant, and replacing it.
More new problems occur...


After Shawn's recommended repair of changing the intake

manifold gaskets was complete, he told me that he believe's that there is a
problem with his newly installed carburetor and that he will not get
replacement parts until several days later on Tuesday 7/16/13. He said that he
would call me on Tuesday. On Tuesday morning I called the repair shop and asked
if the carburetor was repaired and if the smog would be completed. It was at
this time that Shawn told me that while test driving the vehicle the engine
died while he was driving it, and that it had SEIZED. He said that they tried
to manually turn the engine, but that it was stuck.


I have not seen the vehicle since before the intake manifold

gasket replacement, but am supposed to go to his shop today. I do not intend to
pay this company to perform any more repairs. I appreciate any advise on how to
proceed from this point. Thank you.



#20 djellum

djellum

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 642 posts
  • Vancouver WA

Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:06 PM

blame or fault cant be found until you know what actually happened.  you need to find out why its seized.  if you can do that and it shows a likelyhood of his work that caused it, then go back to him and see what he can do to make it right.  you dont have to let him work on your car anymore, but giving him a chance to refund, or advise you on where to go, etc, will help you in the long run no matter what path it takes.  Mechanics are as prone to mistakes as anyone else, but they should deal fairly or lose business because of it.

 

if you pay with a credit card, the credit company will pull back your money from him if this goes sour, but you assume any liability of getting sued by the company.



#21 bluebonnet81

bluebonnet81

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts
  • San Diego

Posted 17 July 2013 - 06:09 PM

blame or fault cant be found until you know what actually happened.  you need to find out why its seized.  if you can do that and it shows a likelyhood of his work that caused it, then go back to him and see what he can do to make it right.  you dont have to let him work on your car anymore, but giving him a chance to refund, or advise you on where to go, etc, will help you in the long run no matter what path it takes.  Mechanics are as prone to mistakes as anyone else, but they should deal fairly or lose business because of it.

 

if you pay with a credit card, the credit company will pull back your money from him if this goes sour, but you assume any liability of getting sued by the company.

I am reluctant to take the car off of his lot because as soon as I do that I then I become suspect of any tampering or subsequent damage. Isn't the mechanic responsible to provide some explanation other than now I need to pay him to tear the engine down ???



#22 Dee2

Dee2

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • 279 posts
  • US

Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:26 PM

The damage is done.

 

I would not touch the car.  I would not trust him to do any more work.  Pay for his bill to date and have it towed to another shop or Subaru dealer.  Have the other shop diagnose\fix the problem.  Your court claim will then be documented by any charges from the other shop and any charges from his shop following engine seizure..

 

This is a long route but I think it is  your best bet to financial recovery



#23 Caboobaroo

Caboobaroo

    USMB Drunk

  • Members
  • 6,902 posts
  • Oregon City

Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:38 PM

The damage is done.
 
I would not touch the car.  I would not trust him to do any more work.  Pay for his bill to date and have it towed to another shop or Subaru dealer.  Have the other shop diagnose\fix the problem.  Your court claim will then be documented by any charges from the other shop and any charges from his shop following engine seizure..
 
This is a long route but I think it is  your best bet to financial recovery


That is exactly what you have to do. Pay the bill, tow it to a dealer or a Subaru speciality shop and have them diagnose it. In my professional opinion, the only time I've seen an EA81 lock up was no oil. It is possible that the intake manifold gaskets leaked coolant into the cylinders but if it was running when it stopped, it would have been billowing white smoke.

#24 MilesFox

MilesFox

    Catch this Fox!

  • Members
  • 10,581 posts
  • Madison/Milwaukee, WI

Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:01 PM

Perhaps it overheated from lack of proper burping procedures? maybe compounded with low or no oil. It would obvioulsy be overheating long before it would seize. It would run hot enough to boil the oil before it seized.



#25 scoobiedubie

scoobiedubie

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 473 posts
  • Aloha, Oregon

Posted 18 July 2013 - 11:19 AM

Perhaps your mechanic did not put any oil back in, after removing the old oil.  Simple mistakes like that in the work place, are often the end result of self medication.  Does your mechanic have glassy eyes by chance?






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users