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Woodenhead

Excavator Mystery Adventure

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So a dude I know with a construction company asks for some help getting one of his excavators running. Apparently he had his teenage boys do a head gasket and now it won’t run. This guy has ZERO mechanical aptitude, I think his kids are worse. It’s a Terex machine with a Mitsubishi S4Q motor.

I asked him if the boys set the valves, blank stare...same response to lots of questions lol. After some discussion he gives me a tray of leftover hardware including eight nuts which look suspiciously like valve adjuster locking nuts. This is how it started...

 

The is is the victim.

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I pulled the valve cover and found this. Note the adjusters and “clearance”.

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Some of the adjusters were up so high they smashed the valve cover. I fixed this by banging it down, grinding it and coating with JB weld. We’ll see how it holds up.

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Fortunately all of the adjusters were backed way off so no piston/valve contact but one bent push rod from getting sideways on the rocker. Also a bunch of damaged threads on the rockers from the push rods smashing them where the adjusters were backed way out.

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I straightened it

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I had no access to the crank pulley to bar the engine over and no timing marks so I pulled the glow plugs and hooked a jumper cable to the battery and used it to bump the starter at the solenoid. Then used a piece of TIG wire in the glow plug hole to keep checking for TDC.

 

Put it back together and it fired right up. Then started leaking fuel at the injectors. Turns out the seal washers on the return line fittings are missing. I’ll deal with that tomorrow.

 

Also had a coolant leak where they bolted on a block off plate but left out the gasket. Had to drain the coolant and make a gasket to fix that.

 

I’ll be surprised if there are no more surprises after it’s running for a bit. Would have been less work if he just had me do the head gasket.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Torque Monkey said:

Certainly fear wasn't his Son's problem. Amazing. LOL!


That’s for sure. I backed off each head bolt one at a time and brought them to the 90ft-lb spec. I was surprised that they were all pretty even, maybe at about 100ft-lbs. I couldn’t help but wonder if that was why the piece of pipe was laying on the ground. 

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Wow.  I’m no mechanic but my dad was a diesel mechanic for many years and I did learn a few things from him.   More then those kids.  

 

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WOW I had a class in junior high where we took a lawn mower engine apart and put it back together. It teaches all the basics of engine parts, function, and operation. Almost all other engines are pretty easy if you understand the basics.  Obviously they didn't have the basics.  That was not the correct engine for first try and learning......I have a few lawn mower engines you can have to train them on.....

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Hoping parts are readily available to do proper repairs ( not familiar with that engine here ) ... looks like you’ll need more . 

How far into the engine did they go ?

Edited by GTroyer

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Hoping parts are readily available to do proper repairs ( not familiar with that engine here ) ... looks like you’ll need more . 
How far into the engine did they go ?


Just the head off and on. I think parts are available but they need to cross the Pacific.


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These are the washers for the return line. They’re supposed to have little holes in them but these ones didn’t for some reason. He didn't want to wait till January 8 for the correct washers so I took a shot at drilling the little holes. 0.045” seemed to be the smallest I could hold in my chuck, rather than wing it I made a little holder and used the DRO on the mill. It’s hard drilling a little hole like this, there’s really no “feel” to feeding it.

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It doesn’t leak anymore but still runs pretty rough, plenty of smoke and no power. I think it’s pretty much running like it was before they did the head. At least he can get it moved off the property now.


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Edited by Woodenhead

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57 minutes ago, skyking said:

one messed up injector will do that on a 4 banger. I would try to crack a line method. 


I suggested checking compression. Then if that checks out sending the injectors off to get checked or replaced. Could crack a line like you suggest and see which cylinder is lame, good call. 
I’m done with it for now, unless he asks for more help. 

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Well this thing got dropped off at my place today so looks like I’ll get to mess with it again. I think they ran it for a while so it’ll be interesting to see what’s really going on with it and how hammered it really is. 

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The Kids= My dads a tv repair man he has a awesome set of tools, we can fix it!!!!!!!! 

Or= I saw a Utube video I know what I am doing! 

 

Good on you for helping the guy out.

I hope he is the kind of guy who knows what he got from you not the kind who comes back saying "what did YOU do to my machine? now it wont run!"

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3 hours ago, HOSS said:

The Kids= My dads a tv repair man he has a awesome set of tools, we can fix it!!!!!!!! 

Or= I saw a Utube video I know what I am doing! 

 

Good on you for helping the guy out.

I hope he is the kind of guy who knows what he got from you not the kind who comes back saying "what did YOU do to my machine? now it wont run!"

 

Yeah he's pretty good about it, he was happy to pay the bill last time and appreciative of the work.  He knows this thing is messed up and really just wants to see if it's salvageable.  I've turned people away before, when you get that feeling they're going to complain to you about every problem they have after you touch it.

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