March 4, 2021

PROJECT LOG: #PoisonIvy [3-21-16] Staying Grounded

Remember in my last post when I said how great things were going and how awesome the car was running? Well, I wasn’t lying, but we had a bit of a hiccup. I very, costly, hiccup at that. Monday morning, everything was going great. I woke up, the sun was out, it was chilly but it was still nice because of the sun. Otherwise a beautiful day.

I was preparing to make the hour and fifteen minute drive to my buddies house to hang out and show off the 1G. First, I ran to the post office and then to a local part store that carries Brad Penn High Performance oil. I bought an entire case of 20W-50 and then started heading towards my buddies. I jumped up on the highway and began cruising. For me, cruising usually means cruising at 80-100MPH.

Only a mile or so before I was about to drive past the road I live on, I heard a noise that sounded like I ran over some loose gravel and the engine shut off. I coasted to a large parking lot and parked. I popped the hood and didn’t see any oil leaks. Then, I finally noticed something out of the ordinary- the timing belt.


Next, I looked down at my timing belt tensioner pulley and the center cam bolt was loose. So, I called my father to have him tow me back to the house. I have AAA, but I couldn’t imagine myself using up a tow when my house was only a half a mile from where I had pulled off. While waiting for my dad, I began removing as much as I could in preparation of removing the head to investigate the extent of the damage.


We got the car back to the house and I removed the head. Though the head was trashed, I considered myself lucky as there were no significant damage to the pistons. Upon inspecting the timing tensioner pulley that caused this misfortune, it looked fine and felt fine. Obviously, it will be replaced anyway, but I suspect the eccentric bolt worked itself loose, possibly from engine vibrations. With my solid engine mounts and balance shaft delete, it seems like a very likely possibility. When I put this thing back together, I will be using red loctite on the bolt.

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Most of the valves were noticably damaged or bent. I loved this head, it had been machined, ported, etc. The Brian Crower valve springs were fine as well as the Brian Crower 272 cams which was my biggest concern. I went inside and looked at the head that came with my 1G. The head was supposedly machined at one point though I’ve never really looked at it until now.

The head was very clean, the deck clearly looked like it had been resurfaced at one point, and most of the valves looked to be seated. This head was said to have a couple bent valves after a timing belt failure, so I stripped the manifolds from both heads and went to the machine shop.


By the time I left the machine shop, me and the machinist developed a game plan. This guy has done work on several 4G63 engines in his time, which is why I chose to go to him. That, and he is also a Brad Penn supplier/fan. Ironically, he had a fresh built 2G 7 bolt head in his shop after he built it for a guy a long time ago that never paid for it. Any bent valves that my spare 6 bolt head had, would be replaced out of his 7 bolt head.

He is going to resurface the deck again as there were a few small scratches, do a complete valve job replacing any bad valves, replacing the valve stem seals, and swap over my valve springs from my old head. I will be installing the cams myself to save some money.

I came back home and continued removing the rest of the parts from my engine. Timing tensioner pulley, auto tensioner, etc. Everything will be replaced with new OEM parts. The machinist said he hoped to have my head ready by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!

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