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Old 11-03-2005, 09:42 AM
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16 y/r son blew engine/step dad says his RPM way too high....

Ok here goes. Blonde mom here that has a 16 year old son and we bought him a 93 Eagle Talon, 5 sp. My husband is a mechanic and swears that my son had to be have reved up the RPM's too much and even possible missed a gear to do what happened. My main question is, if a car had been driven and abused by a previous young owner can thing wear and just go?

My son said he was leaving school and about 1/4 mile down the road he heard a strange grinding, bogging noise so he pulled the car to the side of the road and it died. He said he tried to start it and it would turn over but not start. We had it hauled to the house.

My husband pulls it apart and (Mitsubishi motor and about 150,000 miles on it) all the rocker arms were off on the side closest to the dash, three were broken and some of the pin bearings must be down in the oil holes at the corners of the engine. Also the right thing that pushes up and down on the back side and the left side is stuck, won't move.

My husband says that this kind of thing doesn't happen unless your racing, revving up really high, etc. I asked him, if this was something that could have been coming down the line to happen due to abuse, he said no.

My son swears that he wasn't racing, speeding, laying drag or anything at the time this happened.

Help - mom that doesn't know squat and Dad that thinks he know everything..... Ha!

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Old 11-03-2005, 10:04 AM
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It was overrevved. Maybe not that day but it was someday. Maybe yesterday.

Start calling him lead foot!
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:11 AM
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Thanks,

I do appreciate the info. I hear two side and I trust my husband with his knowledge, but I also feel that sometime things can happen over time and then it just goes. He tore the crap out if and now we either re-build or buy a whole new engine. My husband is going to put a Rev-limiter on it. I said, sure. I don't know these things. Thanks a bunch! Any others are very appreciated!
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:27 AM
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With 150K miles on the engine it could partially be attributed to collective wear and tear. Nothing lasts forever especially under the foot of a teenager.
Pick up a new/used engine and have the boy help put it in. He will then appreciate the effort and keep the pedal AWAY from the metal afterwards.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:35 AM
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Thank you.

Great advice. I'll mention that to my husband. My son has no clue, nor do I as to what it takes. I may get in there with them.
Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:38 AM
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timing belt

Those engine have zero clearence between the pistons and valves, when the timing belt jumps a few teeth the pistons and valves smash together causing lots of damage. I would say its not the kids fault.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:42 AM
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Thanks,

The timing belt is still in great shape and the teeth look fine. My husband guessed that it may be the timing belt until the he took the top off (heads?) Could that still be the case if it all looks fine? Thanks
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:26 PM
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The timing belt could look perfect, it can just jump a tooth or two which causes the valve to open when it shoudn't ie. when the piston is at the top and that would push the valve up and knock the rocker arms off of their supports and possible break a valve nor somthing else, and yes the heads are the top off the engine ( not the very top but its the last piece before you can see the pistons) I'm not sure about the rev limiter becaus somtimes you need topunch it to stay ot of danger, i was 16 about three years ago and know how "we" drive, i knew that if my car broke i was walking, maybe that is a better detterent!

Good Luck

Brendan
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:07 PM
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Hey whats done is done.Son helps dad put another engine in and if he doesn't have a part time job then he gets one and pays mom and dad back at so much a week. Two great things could happen out of this. He learns financial responsibility and gets to do some quality time with the step dad. As long as dad teaches and doesn't tell. Turns a neg. into a pos. Been there a few times. 2 kids of my own and 6 step kids. Good luck
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:19 PM
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I am not familiar with this car.I think most the fuel injection engines have a rev limiter.Again I am not sure with this one.
If someone was to miss a shift down shifting it will over rev even if it has a rev limiter.
If they meant to go to third and went to first for example.
Like is already said.What is done is done.Let your son help your husband work on it.It sounds like no one was hurt or anything.It is just a car,Life goes on.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:28 PM
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I agree sounds like it missed a shift or was abused by the previous owner, either way your son will learn some automotive knowledge now
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:34 PM
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Lead Foot

Having raised my kids and taught them to drive, bought their "first" vehicles, I can attest to the fact that "Lead Foot" is the single most predominate reason engines blow up. ( it's all their "mothers" fault, btw)
I am now working on teaching three grandkids how to drive and two of them are girls, one of which has the "Lead Foot" syndrome, which she inherited from her dad, while another has "Brake Itus and Frozen Steering Wheel".
The boy , I'm fearing, is a lost cause as all he can see is tire smoke and hearing the RPM's approaching galactic proportions as he tries to launch himself into hyperspace. (We have him on a short chain)

My advice is to get a "used" engine to replace the blown one and have junior do the work with supervision.
As said above, he'll appreciate the vehicle more and hopefully take a different approach to driving than the one I'd be willing to bet he's been on.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:04 PM
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what do you expect a 16yr old to say ? plus a inexperienced 16yr old had no clue what was gona happen, when over tacking. plus 16yrs olds don't hear the things we do, and if they do they don't get it.

I know when I was 16, I took a fresh 389 my uncle and I just built in my 67 GTO and it had maybe 50mi on it and I went out that nite and got challenged to a race ant took the challenge, it was a fresh 389 4 speed with a new detroit locker 373s i wasn't used to, plus I knew everything I won the 1st race, but the 2nd race it spun a rod bearing from being over tacked, and it blew all the oil out. we dumped 3+qts of oil or so back in it, and drove it back home knocking. when home, my uncle listened to it & said shut it off, he ask us what happened, we said we were cruising the main drag and it just started knocking, he pulled the dip stick and said why did you put oil in it ? we said we didn't, he said BS he could tell the oil was just dumped in by the color. he was like my dad and said pull it up by the garage till you can tell me what happened, I fessed up, it was hard, cause all the time work and money lasted maybe 60mi. (he said well at least the new rear held up) 3 weeks later he helped me build a 400 that was a bullet proof bottom end, it was a 5 month build, as money was an issue. and he made sure it had a scatter shield b4 the 400 was done. its one of those life time lessons. i'm sure your son learned something. he needs to help money wise and with his blood sweet & tears to get it fixed.

Mustangsaly
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:15 AM
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Great story Saly! All of us were kids once, and did stupid tings, and most us learned from it. Mom, I agree with both you and step dad. The 150K didn't help a thing, if it had less wear and tear it would have been less likely to go now. But he's correct -- it was over revved. A newer engine would have taken more before the damage was done is all. But don't tell son that!! Most EFI engines have a rev limiter, but it's up around the max rpm of a relatively new engine. For the little Mitsu four that's going to be around 7,000-7,500 rpm. He likely missed a shift or was revving it up and dumping the clutch (assuming it's a stick) to spin the tires, or could have been doing "neutral drops" if it's an auto (push into drive after revving the engine up in neutral to spin the tires -- hard on trans and engine!). Any engine will start making a lot of noise before a rod comes out. If he wasn't doing something at the time the engine would have started knocking before doing all that damage. He may have ignored the noise, or it started a bit gradually. But I've NEVER heard of an engine that threw a rod and tore everything up inside at idle! And I've NEVER had one throw a rod without sounding like someone was inside beating it with a hammer.

If it just messed up the head and valves (yes, the TOP of the engine), and the pistons and rods are fine, the timing belt could have slipped as already suggested. Belt driven engines usually have a spring belt tensioner (some have an oil pressure tensioner, but that's mostly with chain drives -- oil pressure has to fall for those to slip). You have to really have that belt spinning to pull the tension off the spring enough to skip a few teeth without damaging the belt. In other words, way to many revs. Unless the tensioner is broke or weak, which brings the age/mileage into the picture. An older tensioner may have lost some pressure, but would still take a good bit or rpm to let the belt get loose enough to slip teeth.

How you handle it us up to you. You may never get the truth. I don't think I'd personally push it. Just make sure he's involved in building/replacing the engine. Would be a real big plus if he had to call around and find prices on the used engines, and even replacement costs himself. And more importantly ride the bus/bum a ride/walk to school until it's done. If you loan/buy him another ride, it's not a good lesson. He's gonna do things like this, but knowing the cost/trouble and consequences will at least make him think a bit more first!

P.S. -- I did something similar with a Toyota I'd rebuilt. Ran it to hard after the rebuild and ran it a little low on oil. Not enough to hurt bearings, just enough for the pressure to drop a bit in hard turns. It was a 18R engine with chain driven OHC and oil pressure tensioner! Luckily the valves didn't hit the pistons when it skipped over about 4-5 teeth -- just enough it would barely run. I got lucky! I was on a trip at the time, and the mechanic at the station I stopped at felt sorry for a kid traveling with his girl friend! If she hadn't been with me they'd have probably laughed at me! Instead of tearing the whole front of the engine off (old Corona w/rear wheel drive!), they popped the valve cover and managed to pry the chain up and move the sprocket over close enough to get it running right. I was 21 at the time, GF 20. We had to call our parents and stay overnight because we were about 5-6 hours from home. GFs parents weren't happy, and wanted to talk to the station mechanic, who was nice enough to explain the problem convincingly!!

Last edited by farna; 11-04-2005 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:57 AM
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If you or your son would like to learn more about what the nice folks on here are talking about, visit www.howstuffworks.com and check out their section on automobiles. The one you're looking for specifically is "Automobile Engines" They have animations that I think will help you a lot. you can see the pistons and valves moving, and you'll realize how easy it would be for them to smash into each other.

I have heard lot's of good things about those Talons. Is it all-wheel drive? Anyway, parts are readily available b/c there are lots of people who love them. Search google, and you will probably find websites similar to this one, that deal with those cars specifically. Check the classifieds on those sites, and you might find the engine you need.

Also, bear in mind that that Talon is mechanically identical to the Mitsubishi eclipse.

good luck on that car.

Last edited by saabstorey; 11-04-2005 at 10:59 AM. Reason: typo
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