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#3319656 - 03/22/14 10:27 AM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
pottymouth Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 483
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: The_Eric

Some of you may ask "Why"? Why not buy a new this or that, or take it to the machine shop instead? Well, beside the obvious part- you know the rod missing a bearing, the engine was in pretty good shape. It wasn't showing any real odd wear. Sure, I can sink boatloads of $$$ into it, but it's not really broke... Too badly. So I don't want to spend the $$$ to fix it. And I can be really cheap.


You have the right idea.

I've seen people invest more than double the value of a car then be surprised when they can't get the money back later. You're working on a car that will provide safe, reliable transportation when done, but is not a particularly valuable or desirable car. Why dump a dollar more into it than you have to?

I used to be one of those, "as long as I'm in there, I might was well replace this, this and that..." guys myself. I've learned to be realistic about what I'm working on and make smart decisions, not emotional ones. No more fixing things that aren't broken for me.

Glad you're putting this Chevy back on the road. Way too many cars go to the crusher prematurely because owners do not maintain them.

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#3319725 - 03/22/14 11:33 AM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
Kruse Offline


Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 3093
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
I went to install the rings on the pistons (DNJ made in Taiwan from Rock Auto), but found that the expander ring for the oil control set was too big in circumference. I was going to either re-use the OE expander or MacGyver the new ones, but I lost all faith in the ring set and wound up replacing the whole set with a Mahle set from Northern Auto.


Thanks for telling us the truth about parts from DNJ. I will be doing a complete overhaul on a Ford 3.8 V6 in about a month. Rock Auto has been pushing DMJ and it's hard to pass up the prices on DNJ components, especially when they are about half the price of older name-brand parts. My overhaul kit will be purchased from Northern Auto next week and the components will be more familiar names, even if some of the parts are not made in North America.
You have just convinced me to stay away from DNJ. I will still order from Rock Auto, but I do now know of one brand to stay away from.

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#3319767 - 03/22/14 12:36 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: Kruse]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 3473
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: pottymouth
Originally Posted By: The_Eric

Some of you may ask "Why"? Why not buy a new this or that, or take it to the machine shop instead? Well, beside the obvious part- you know the rod missing a bearing, the engine was in pretty good shape. It wasn't showing any real odd wear. Sure, I can sink boatloads of $$$ into it, but it's not really broke... Too badly. So I don't want to spend the $$$ to fix it. And I can be really cheap.


You have the right idea.

I've seen people invest more than double the value of a car then be surprised when they can't get the money back later. You're working on a car that will provide safe, reliable transportation when done, but is not a particularly valuable or desirable car. Why dump a dollar more into it than you have to?

I used to be one of those, "as long as I'm in there, I might was well replace this, this and that..." guys myself. I've learned to be realistic about what I'm working on and make smart decisions, not emotional ones. No more fixing things that aren't broken for me.

Glad you're putting this Chevy back on the road. Way too many cars go to the crusher prematurely because owners do not maintain them.


You hit the nail on the head.

At the rate I'm going, I may or may not be able to recover my money/make a profit from this car in a private sale, but that's not the goal. The goal, like you said is for a safe, dependable car. So far, it makes good financial sense and is on track to being a very cheap car to drive.

Originally Posted By: Kruse
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
I went to install the rings on the pistons (DNJ made in Taiwan from Rock Auto), but found that the expander ring for the oil control set was too big in circumference. I was going to either re-use the OE expander or MacGyver the new ones, but I lost all faith in the ring set and wound up replacing the whole set with a Mahle set from Northern Auto.


Thanks for telling us the truth about parts from DNJ. I will be doing a complete overhaul on a Ford 3.8 V6 in about a month. Rock Auto has been pushing DMJ and it's hard to pass up the prices on DNJ components, especially when they are about half the price of older name-brand parts. My overhaul kit will be purchased from Northern Auto next week and the components will be more familiar names, even if some of the parts are not made in North America.
You have just convinced me to stay away from DNJ. I will still order from Rock Auto, but I do now know of one brand to stay away from.


I have nothing to hide. If anything, I'd like this to be a guide for others. What to look for, what to do and what not to buy.

The gasket set, so far, shows promise. It looks to be a well made set. Time will tell. Heck, even the rings could have been a good set and the manufacturer accidentally included an oversize on the expander. It doesn't matter- they made me nervous. I am willing/able to tear most anything down to repair or replace something, but that is not one. Unless of course I'm getting paid to do it.

Also, Kruse: Thank you for reminding me of Northern Auto! You saved the day on the rings.
_________________________
2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
1998 Chevy Malibu 2.4
1995 Pontiac Grand Am 3.1
1979 Ford F-150 351M

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#3319856 - 03/22/14 02:48 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
ls1mike Offline


Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 3182
Loc: In the Garage...
Looks great Eric!

Thanks for the tip on the light.

I like florescent as well.
_________________________
Mike
00 Trans Am
02 Silverado 2500HD
04 Grand Prix GTP
13 Equinox
12 Passport TT

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#3320274 - 03/22/14 09:15 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6953
Loc: Florida
I live near an independent parts store that sells DNJ kits. You will always see one there because they ship them everywhere. The parts in those kits seem almost random. The timing belt, timing belt pulleys, timing idlers, and water pumps would be made by different companies, and different countries which seemed extremely weird to me. Some of the parts came from China. It made me decide not to use DNJ.

Every time I saw one, it would have NPR/Nippon Piston Ring labeled rings in it. That was the OE supplier to many car companies.
_________________________
2010 Lancer Ralliart Sportback

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#3320951 - 03/23/14 02:31 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: dishdude]
gregk24 Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 3059
Loc: FL, USA
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
Originally Posted By: gregk24
Ouch, very common on these old GM 2.4's though.


Any idea of the actual cause of it? Some light reading on the interweb suggested low oil levels would do this.


Greg takes any opportunity to bash GM he can, and really doesn't have a lot of automotive knowledge. Any engine you run low on oil is going to spin a rod, and I think you were on the right track with the bad sending unit being partially to blame. Driver probably never checked the oil.

Thanks for the pics, can't wait to see the progress!


Really? We own two GM's and one Honda. I do know however that these older 2.4's do have issues spinning bearings. It usually happens when the engine is run low on oil (that would happen to almost any engine), or under high RPM, in such case it starves certain bearings of oil. Read up on it, on these 2.4's its not a matter of if, its a matter of when. Many make it to respectably high miles before it happens though.
_________________________
2006 Honda Accord LX 2.4 i-vtec 125K
Mobil 1 AFE 0w20
Fram Ultra 7317

2005 Chevy Uplander 3.5 118K
Mobil 1 HM 5w30
Fram Ultra 3387

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#3322578 - 03/24/14 10:25 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 3473
Loc: Iowa
Update: Finally got the correct connecting rod, and the proper rings showed up today too. One more thing to note about the DNJ rings- they weren't the same exact design as the OE. The inside of the top ring of the OE set was rounded and the inside of the DNJ replacements were pretty much square. That was another reason I was unsure about running them, but neglected to mention it in the other post. The Mahle replacements do have the same configuration as the OE.

I didn't photograph all the steps as I was kind of rushing, so you'll have to make due with two... Sorry.

Here the pistons are installed and the rod caps are tied firmly to the crank. I already have the balance shaft assembly installed and timed to the crank- what a mess, hope it's close enough! There are no index lines, splines or keys. The gear is retained only by bolt tension and timing is a bit tricky without the factory tools.




Here is the head just before I cranked it down to the block. Machinist did a nice job on the surface.




More to come soon!
_________________________
2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
1998 Chevy Malibu 2.4
1995 Pontiac Grand Am 3.1
1979 Ford F-150 351M

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#3323702 - 03/25/14 10:19 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 3473
Loc: Iowa
Another update: I skipped several photos today, as I was in a hurry. The engine is more or less screwed together and resting comfortably back in the car.



I'll add that I likely won't be using the DNJ gaskets again either. The set was missing the inner timing cover gasket, the oil/air separator gasket (not sure the after market even makes one) and a few misc. o-rings.

I picked up the water tube from the powder coater today and installed it with a new GM t-stat.

The e-bay timing set installed okay, but one of the guides wasn't made correctly- the hooks that fit into the timing cover were improperly spaced, so I modified them a bit.

Sigh... The things a person will go through to save money.
_________________________
2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
1998 Chevy Malibu 2.4
1995 Pontiac Grand Am 3.1
1979 Ford F-150 351M

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#3323714 - 03/25/14 10:29 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
Kruse Offline


Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 3093
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By: The_Eric

Sigh... The things a person will go through to save money.


A few weeks ago I looked at their website and I was not impressed. After your experience with them, I've probably sworn them off permanently.

http://www.enginecomponents.com/

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#3323716 - 03/25/14 10:32 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
hattaresguy Offline


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 5245
Loc: CT
Nice progress!

I have been looking on Amazon for deals on AC Delco parts, I have had a number of aftermarket parts fail on me quite young.

I had an aftermarket front wheel bearing on my truck fail after only 20k miles, the original had done 110k!


Edited by hattaresguy (03/25/14 10:33 PM)

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#3324092 - 03/26/14 11:02 AM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
L_Sludger Offline


Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 2504
Loc: Ohio
You know, I've often found that genuine OEM engine parts from a discounter are generally worth the price in the long run.

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#3324847 - 03/26/14 10:27 PM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 3473
Loc: Iowa
Pretty much home, just need to sonic tank the injectors. Maybe with some luck I'll have it running tomorrow?

Today, I got most of the stuff hooked up- the lines and harness routed properly, and the alternator and belt tensioner bolted down. Just have to zip the exhaust flange tight and the bottom bolts on the A/C compressor.

_________________________
2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
1998 Chevy Malibu 2.4
1995 Pontiac Grand Am 3.1
1979 Ford F-150 351M

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#3325045 - 03/27/14 07:29 AM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
ls1mike Offline


Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 3182
Loc: In the Garage...
Getting close!

Looks good!

Until this last photo. I was wondering what the hole was on the front of the block.
_________________________
Mike
00 Trans Am
02 Silverado 2500HD
04 Grand Prix GTP
13 Equinox
12 Passport TT

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#3325057 - 03/27/14 07:45 AM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 3473
Loc: Iowa
Yeah, that's the oil/air separator. The DNJ gasket set was missing the gasket for it, so while the parts store looked for it, I kept working. I later called the dealer and they told me that it's obsolete and no other dealers have it. The parts store couldn't find it through Fel-Pro either, so last night I just broke out the can of Right Stuff and stuck it on.
_________________________
2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
1998 Chevy Malibu 2.4
1995 Pontiac Grand Am 3.1
1979 Ford F-150 351M

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#3325152 - 03/27/14 09:28 AM Re: Project Malibu resurection: Death and rebirth [Re: The_Eric]
ls1mike Offline


Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 3182
Loc: In the Garage...
Ah the Right Stuff!

Love it!

When I had my TPI vette I used it on the intake. I had to remove when I did the storker motor. I couldn't get the dang intake off. I hooked the hoist up to it and applied a bit of pressure and left it over night. At some point that night it finally broke free!

Best gasket maker ever.
_________________________
Mike
00 Trans Am
02 Silverado 2500HD
04 Grand Prix GTP
13 Equinox
12 Passport TT

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