First Pass of the Carnage Report

This morning I got the car up on jack stands (not an easy task with the particular combination of floor jack and ride height that I’ve got) to start making a pass over the car to see the results of the first drive.

The first noticeable thing — the whole underside of the car is a giant mess of oil and coolant mixed together. The oil coming from the bell housing was clearly not the only source of oil, as there was a nice trail of it on the underside of the 4″ tubes from most of the way to the front of the car. The same with the coolant, particularly on the driver’s side.

The fuel lines had oil dripping from them, and most of the passenger footbox was pretty well coated with oil.

Using a shop light, I poked around looking for sources of leaks. The coolant seemed largely to be coming from the front half of the lower radiator hose. The front and rear half are connected together using a metal pipe and clamps, and it was leaking from one of them. The clamps had loosened up (or perhaps were never tight enough to begin with), so I made a pass around all the radiator hoses tightening the clamps. They were all loose. I’m hoping its a one-time tightening, as I’m not sure how to keep them from backing out if that was the problem.

I hope that fixes most of the coolant leak. It appears its only leaking under pressure from those locations anyway. The leak at the new heater valve seems to have stopped, but I need to watch it.

The oil seemed to be primarily leaking from two places — the oil pressure stalk in the front that has the oil pressure sender and oil pressure switch in it, and something still at the back of the engine. There were some small drips of oil around the oil pan, and I could feel some along the seal at the crank. I’m debating if I pull the oil pan, clean things really well and put it back on to see if the oil leak stops, as opposed to trying to get the car down to Fortes. Its my labor versus theirs on a problem the engine came with, but its really a giant pain to get the car down there. I am going to shoot Mike Forte an e-mail asking his opinion on that … I also want to get an oil pan with a temperature sensor port in it, so perhaps I’ll just order one and swap it out, and kill two birds with one stone.

No leaks in the transmission, no leaks in the rear end, as far as I can tell.

There was some definite squeaking from the suspension while I was driving — I’m going to re-grease everything this week — the fronts were greased two years ago, and the rears? I hope I greased them. I may not have. In either case, they’ll all get re-greased this week.

On further examination, one of the bolts holding the front passenger caliper in was out about ten threads, and the other one was loose as well. I don’t know if they backed out, or if it was something I missed torquing. This afternoon I’m going to pull the wheels and retorque everything.

Something set the alarm off this morning, which is bizarre as the proximity sensor isn’t wired up. Only the motion sensor or the panic button could’ve set it off. Its possible one of the crushed remotes did it. I have to watch that.

Once I do a suspension pass torquing things, I’ll do a quick pass checking the torque on the oil pan bolts — if any are loose, it might indicate that there is an installation problem with the pan and hopefully that is, in fact, the source of the leaks.

Before taking the car back down, I’ll also adjust the coilovers and raise the car a half inch to an inch all around. It looks great low, but its REALLY low. I also will remove the dash and deal with the heater, and the loose wire in the starter button.

Also, getting under the car, I can see the side pipe damage. The driver’s one wasn’t so bad, but the passenger one is pretty much trashed along the outside of it. As best as I can tell I must’ve caught it on the trailer as I was pulling in or out. I’m sure the pipe can be fixed, but it looks lousy, and I’d bet I have to pay for it to be media blasted and re-coated. At that point, I might just step up to stainless pipes with better mufflers and try to tone the car down a touch as well. Its fine for now. I mean, the car is in gelcoat.

I’ll post another update tonight or early in the week as I continue to work my way around the car.