I guess i'm the newest victim.
I guess i'm the newest victim.
I guess i'm the newest victim.
I guess you're complaining about me me, but isn't this the thread for "documentation"?Guys can we cut out the yaking and stick to the format?
With the size of this thread it's extremely difficult to read paragraphs to figure out milage and whatnot if you're trying to analyize the data.[/b]
EDIT 04/11/05: Finally finished up the details today... haha. It's nearly 1 1/2 years and I've completely forgotten about this post. I hope it was useful to people around here!
EDIT 04/03/06: Last week, I finally got around to replacing the manifold with Che's stainless header. Over the course of the year, I've been pulling the O2 sensors periodically to check the condition of the precats. I'm glad to report that approximately 40,000 miles after the last incident, the precats are still in one piece. If you are intent on getting rid of your precats, here is a link for all the parts you might need, and here is a link with instructions on how to get it done.
I've decided to document my precat case to assist anybody who might need it in the future. I remember there was something similar in the old board, so if it turns out to be useful, perhaps the mods can make this post a sticky for reference. Hopefully both old and new members of spyderchat can take advantage of this information.
Please refer to existing posts found here and here for more information.
Here's what I've managed to garner so far from everybody else's experiences. Please correct me if I'm mistaken:
1. Engine oil blow by is caused by piston ring distortion from heat while running the motor in mid-high rpms (or just regular operation).
In addition, as kingspyder (thanks!) pointed out, there is another school of thought which believes the block has an overbore issue which is a result of poor factory quality. Effectively, this causes oil blow by during standard operation. If so, this would mean that blueprinting the 1ZZ might be a remedy. That would, however, be far too expensive as a practical solution.
2. Leaked oil is seeping into pre-catatalytic converters.
3. Exposure of precats to oil causes the material to break off.
4. Due to the close proximity of precats to engine, contaminated air with precat material is returned somehow (magically?).
5. Contaminated air (precat dust?) is sucked into the combustion chamber which causes engine failure to accelerate.
6. Repeat steps 1-5.
7. I haven't managed to find anyone claiming to know what the specific problem with the engine was, but I am assuming it has to do with rod bearings and low oil volume/pressure or even blown piston rings.
edit (thanks Racer x!): forgot to mention that there is speculation saying that the precats just start falling apart on their own which means that they cause the problems to begin with (excessive backpressure distorting the piston rings).
It would seem that the occurrence is fairly random; only a few unlucky souls have been inflicted by this problem. It hits people with low mileage and high mileage as well. There is, however, a theory which points the blame at using natural oil, and several others scapegoating the break-in process used.
As of right now, the only preventative measure Spyder owners can take is getting rid of the precats either by gutting them out w/ a screwdriver or by removing them completely by replacing the factory header with an aftermarket header; niether option is very appealing nor recommended since they require time/money and the car probably won't pass smog. At least, not in California.
The best way to make sure you're not affected is to check your oil consumption regularly. Toyota's standard allowance of consumption is 1qt/1,500mi. Additionally, you can check the cats visually by pulling the 02 sensors on the header. When doing so, make sure everything looks intact. A third way of checking is the "t-shirt" method. This is done by placing a black t-shirt directly under your exhaust pipe, and giving it a few revs. If specs of catalytic converter material are found on the shirt, then chances are, you've got pre-cat syndrome.
Here is a personal log of what has happened up to this point:
42,000 Mi. - Noticed that the oil happened to be a bit low right before taking it in to my local dealership (Macpherson Toyota) for my standard 3,000 mile oil change. At this point, it was about 1 cm higher than the "E" mark on the dipstick which equates to about 1.5 quarts. Took it in and commented to the tech that the oil level was a bit low and asked if they could possibly check. They did so, and did indeed confirm that oil levels were a bit abnormal; told me to that they needed more time w/ the car and recommended that I start an oil consumption test if it happened again.
45,000 Mi. 11/22/03 (Sat). - Checked oil levels periodically and they were still falling pretty quickly. Oil consumption seemed to be about 2.0 quarts/3,000 miles. Oil consumption test started by larger dealership close to work (Longo Toyota), which will hopefully have a better service center. At least they have wireless internet (and a $tarbuck$ too)!
45,917 Mi. 11/28/03 (Fri.) - While driving on the freeway and cruising at about 4K rpms, engine suddenly started making metallic knocking noises (similar to a loose timing chain but louder) and lost a severe amount of power. Pulled off, turned off the car, and restarted it. Revved to about 6K rpms, but takes a tremendous amount of throttle to get beyond 4K. At this point, the car is fine after restarting as long as throttle is kept under 3K rpms. After the car warms up, or goes beyond 3K, there is a severe loss of power and the metalic sound is fairly prevalent (spun bearing?).
46,051 Mi. - 11/29/03 (Sat.)- Took the car back to the dealership today, and confirmed that oil consumption was approximately 1.5 quarts for 1,051 miles. The service advisor who was handling my case, Danny LeBlanc, was pretty helpful, and says he has seen this once before in another Spyder. Hopefully, we can get everything sorted out without too much hassle. He claims that he must contact the corporate office on Monday and wait for them to advise what to do w/ the car. Service advisor lets me leave with the car since rental office is already closed for the weekend. Currently waiting for them to call back, and planning to take the car back in on Mon.
46,115 Mi. - 11/30/03 (Sun.) - Put another 64 miles on the car, and it has gotten SEVERELY worse. Engine will not rev beyond 4,800 rpms when in neutral, and under strain (5th gear), does not rev beyond 3,500 rpms. Taking the car back in to the dealership tomorrow because it is definitely undriveable this way.
46,215 Mi. - 12/01/03 (Mon.) - By the time I reach the dealership, top speed has been reduced to approximately 50mph. Car does not rev beyond 2,500 rpms, and under heavy strain, it is much worse.
46,215 Mi. - 12/02/03 (Tues.) - Spoke to the service advisor today after stopping in to rent a replacement, and he let me know that corporate has not yet responded to their inquiry; he then called the technician over to find out what was going on with the car. Technician who pulled the motor told me that they were probably going to have to replace the Piston Head in addition to the cats and shortblock.
While making small talk with the service advisor, he mentioned to me that this is the 3nd case him and his partner (I guess they work in pairs there?) have handled for Spyders in the past 1 1/2 years. I was trying to convince them to make sure they replaced the head in addition the shortblock and cats, but he told me he was already lobbying for that to happen. Apparently, the last car he did went through two blocks before it was finally fixed, much like everyone else here. He let me know that he thinks Toyota is documenting the problem, but he wasn't quite sure. Hopefully they'll have some good news for me on Thursday.
Driving the Corolla sucks!
46,215 Mi. - 12/05/03 (Fri.) - Called Danny, the SA, and he confirmed that everything we thought had happened, did indeed happen. They've sent the head out to a machine shop to get it checked, and everything should be ready by Tuesday. He mentioned that they were going to replace at least the cats and the engine block. Depending on what the machine shop reports back, they might end up replacing the entire engine.
Man, I still hate driving the Corolla...
46,215 Mi. - 12/09/03 (Tues.) - I receive a call from an operator at Longo Toyota telling me that my car is ready to go. I race over to the dealership (as quickly as the Corolla will take me at least) after work and pick up my car. Unfortunately, Danny wasn't in to give me any details. While looking over the invoice, however, I see that they've billed the warranty work for $4,000+. Apparently, the machine shop thought the head looked ok, so it wasn't replaced. They did replace all catalytic converters though, along with the block.
66,000+ Mi. - 04/11/05 - Okidoki. So, I've put on significant mileage in the past year and a half, but everything still seems to be running strong. I go back to Longo Toyota occasionally, but I've been told that Danny LeBlanc, the service advisor I was working with, has moved onto working at a Honda dealership in Clairmont.
I was chatting with a Senior service advisor the other day, and I found out a little more about the warranty. Since I forgot to ask initially, I asked him what kind of guarantee was available for dealer repairs. He told me that if I ever exceed my factory warranty, which I have, Toyota will guarantee any work done by an authorized dealer for 12,000 miles or one year. These repairs can be done by any Toyota service center; I would not be forced to return to the same dealership. Unfortunately, this doesn't help my case.
I gotta remember to get off my ass and pull the O2 sensors to check the cats ASAP.
If I every do gut them, I will probably do so after I get my first smog check. This way it will at least put off the headache I'd have to deal with w/ emissions.
Overall, I'm quite happy with the work they've done for me, and I hope anyone else who runs into this problem can at least get the same treatment. Except for the fact that I was stuck with a Corolla, everything was fairly painless, and it was taken care of professionally.
Engine modifications: None.
Gas used: 87.
Type of driving: Spirited.
Oil Type: Natural.
Mileage: 42,000 when noticable problems arose.
Please contact me if any of this information is incorrect or confusing and I will do my best to accomodate.
the same happened to me,,, my service engine light came on,, they said i had a bad oxygen senser and the car was running really rich, yada yada yada, few miles down the road ( this was all at around 59,000 miles by the way), they had to replace the lower block, and later on the head spun bearing twice, and now its been at Toyota for 2 months after this labor day weekend, they havent touched it all are fighting over which dealership messed up,, aparently, when they put in the lower block and took off my tranny, they never put it back on right or not enough fluid, and this 5 speeds bearings all siezed up.. and my it now has 76,000 miles, and i never drive the car. and its still under 100,000 4 year warranty, and guess what, my warranty company went out of bussiness, and toyota doesnt think they are obligated to fix it.. i dont even feel like a customer. its bad......... since its been there for 2 months thus far, my lawyer says thats a good thing, he's gonna bang um out for a new $3800 tranny and the $1600 for the bogus third party warranty they sold me and never offered a legit toyota warranty......... ill have my day,, its a shame,, i never got to drive it all summer though.... I WANT MY SUMMER BACK!!!!lol lol
hey me too,, same prob, same year, i think personally the engine is garbage compared to the late 80's and early 90 years, those engines were just stronger and built to beat, this engine, is fragile, you get up on it or get those rpm's up and you spin bearings.........mines been at toyota for the past two months with a extended warranty out of businiess and corporate toyota doesnt want to take responsibiliy for anything...........im really surprised.I have a 2000 mr2 spyder and this is exacly what has happened to my car! I recently bought it about 9 months ago and now I have a car that sits in my driveway and goes no where! I dont understand why Toyota hasnt had a recall on this engine. I now owe 9000 on a car that just sits. 350 a month and I am forced to drive a 84 el camino! I took it to the dealership in Puyallup WA and they told me it would be 8500 to replace the engine and all of the sensors they claim are out.. Has anyone been able to get toyota to pay for there replacement engine? If there is anything anyone can do to help please let me know.. I am looking for a replacment engine to get my baby back on the road. :icon_beatdeadhorse: :icon_beatdeadhorse: :mrs_2gunsfiring_v1: :let_it_all_out:[/b]
I think we will see the consensus will be to either gut or replace the oem manifold asap. If it is running fine now most likely it is still intact but for how long nobody knows.I suppose this is probably the place to post my question. I am new here, in fact I just signed up today. I am not yet a Spyder owner, but expect to be by the end of the day. I do have a question about something that this board has got me kind of worried about. You probably guessed that it's pre-cats. The car I'm looking at is a 2001, so I think I've read enough here to know that it is particularly succeptible to this. It seems to be fine now, but what I really want to know is just how worried about this I need to be. Just looking for some solid input before it's too late.[/b]